“Whut? Whut! Whut?!” I hear some people shout now.
But, well, sometimes you find gothy gems outside even the widest definition of the umbrella.
And this one… This song can easily be played in a goth club and nobody would bat an eye. (The same with “Mein Schwert” and “Millionen Legionen”, which form a sort of trilogy.)
It’s dark, foreboding, violent, mystical, has introspective lyrics and is nerdy as fuck.
And it’s a really great tie in to yesterday’s post: It’s a song about finding yourself, finding your true self and fighting to secure YOUR life. Your way of life. Your inner self. And do so not just alone, but also with friends and lovers.
It’s about finding yourself surrounded by self-doubt, anxiety and a careless world but still finding the strength to rise up. To awaken the warrior inside you. To stop giving in, to stop losing parts of yourself. To become more. To become your own, real self.
Der Schläfer erwacht und ist bereit
und befreit vom Raum lebt er in der Vision
durchschreitet Deinen Traum in geheimer Mission
Und er kämpft um die anderen aus ihrem Traum zu wecken
weil er weiß dass in ihnen viele kleine Krieger stecken
Und dennoch sagt er nicht komm mit mir
er fragt nach Deinem Traum fragt warum bist Du hier.
The sleeper awakens and is ready,
Freed from space he lives inside the vision,
Treads through your dream on a secret mission.
And he fights to wake the others from their dreams,
Because he knows that they contain a myriad further warriors
But still he doesn’t say “come with me”,
He asks about your dream and why you’re here.
The song mixes a powerful, dark beat with a strong, driving vocal performance to express a mythical and fantastical tale of a chosen one who strives to free the people around him from their shackles, not for his personal, selfish gain, but because it’s the right thing to do.
It also uses samples from Dune to further push this angle (Something that “Millionen Legionen” will also do, four years later.), which I always loved. It made it that extra piece of awesome.
So it’s a track by German rappers, yes.
But the energy, message, tone, beat and ‘texture’ is still perfectly goth. As is using samples in the way this song uses them.
And to tie it into the picture: This song came out in 1995.
The mid-to-late 90s had quite the peculiar and very particular zeitgeist, which would later culminate in The Matrix. But The Matrix was not the first major piece of media to express the gnostic “we’re living in an imposed dream” kind of… Angst. But not really.
This deeply suspicious feeling that there’s more behind the veil of every-day life than most people can perceive, and that not all of that is friendly.
There was the Nephilim RPG, from France.
But there was also Mage: the Ascension
Ours is the Wisdom of Solomon,
the Magic of Merlin,
the Fall of Icarus.
From countless ages we have dreamed,
From endless worlds we have beckoned,
From infinite choices we have suffered.
The world chokes under stifling conformity,
hopes crumble in the fire of mediocrity,
heroes die in the snare of pride.
Armageddon is at hand.
Reality is a lie.
The Truth is Magic.
Open Your Eyes.
It’s hard for me to describe how much this game touched me, moved me, changed.
It got me into Dead Can Dance.
It got me to appreciate Philosophy.
It got me thinking about the most fantastic things.
It made me create one of the very finest gifts I ever gave to someone else.
It made me put in hours upon hours into crafting scenes, characters, relationships and societies.
It made me significantly up my “create a mix-tape” game. (Yes. With actual cassette tapes.)
It allowed me to experience some of my most intimate and most impactful roleplaying experiences of my life.
Mage: the Ascension is a very deep, very dear part of my life.
And the latter part of my formative years.
It will always have a very special place in my heart.