Deathconsciousness is an album unlike any other, and I doubt will ever be replicated as hard as we try. Hell even HANL have tried to replicate the sound in newer records but failed. It's a unique album that, will remain unique. What does it mean though? This album, not just to me but to everyone, to Dan and Tim. It's split into two sides; "The Plow That Broke the Plains" and "The Future" both of these sides have meaning standalone and put together, so let's focus on them alone first. The Plow That Broke the Plains starts from A Quick One and ends on There is no Food. These 7 tracks all have a common theme involved and that's God, the existence of God and his death. The album also showcases death in songs like The Big Gloom and Telephony which, is in fact not showcased anywhere else, which I'll get into shortly. A Quick One opens the record with a sliver of hope, the feeling of the world being destroyed around you as you sit and watch, drink in hand. The reflections of the flames in the glass and in your eyes. This transitions then into Bloodhail, a song about the murder of God, or at least the beginning of it. The Hunter is our "protagonist" I use the term lightly as there is so much more to this than a linear storyline. Bloodhail sees our protagonist preparing for the murder of God; the metaphor at play here is humanity themselves, humanity killing God. The song closes on a sort of cliffhanger, where we see The Hunter having killed God, with their arrowheads; killing not just them but everyone who ever lived, I feel in itself a nod to this sides' title; "The Plow That Broke the Plains" The Hunter being that plow. They have come in, to destroy what was peaceful, just like humanity has done.
The Big Gloom takes us on a minor detour of the main concept, as we see a song about suicide, an incredibly bleak depiction of such, bleak to a point that the song ends in silence, telling us that our narrator is dead. The song deals with the theme of our narrator debating suicide in a bath, an ice bath. They are stuck, mentally and physically bound to this deathbed they have created, the entire track is our narrator debating, speaking of what this may do to the people around them. Now it is left somewhat ambiguous to what happens but my consensus is that the narrator did die, but didn't want to in the end. How does this play into the narrative already set out? Well it doesn't really, but that's not the point, as I said this isn't a linear storyline; this is an enormous record, an enormous world. The Big Gloom can be seen as the suicide of humanity as a whole if you want to look at it that way but, I see it as a detour but an important one, it's something unrelated, and something so minuscule in the grand scheme of the rest of this record that it still feels important. This song also tackles the overarching theme of the record (apart from religion) which is in fact; death. There is no hope in our lives, we have to create that hope and here it is showcased in detail, what can happen if we don't. The song also showcases something else important, another theme tackled by the record in detail, and that's the selfishness of humanity. Some could deem suicide as selfish and in a way, yes it is. Here we see that in detail, with how the lyrics are written: "Please release me". Me, it's about me. While the song does talk about other members of our narrator's life, it still ultimately ends on the word; me. The Hunter takes us back to our original storyline on the titular protagonist. Here we see the continuation of Bloodhail. Our perspective is shifted to one of God themself, lying on the floor, wounded by arrows. They have fallen from the heavens and down to the earth, The Hunter walks down a staircase made from humanity; a staircase of hatred and power, what The Hunter lives on, killing all in its path, even God. The song then shows God, even in their final moments, being generous and kind, something The Hunter never does. God lets the animals and The Hunter eat their flesh to survive if necessary. God doesn't cling on to life, they give in and let humanity win. This is quite an obvious metaphor once again, harkening back to how The Hunter themself is a metaphor for humanity as a whole, they are the plow. Humanity has killed God for their own pleasure, their own selfish desires. God is dead, and we killed him, as they say anyway.
From here we depart slightly from our main storyline about The Hunter. In Telephony we're taken back to another personal account of a person in grief, this time grief not of themself but of someone else. The song revolves around our narrator building a phone that can also travel through time. The song speaks again of the selfishness of humanity in getting what they want, however much they justify their desires. "The machine that snaps, All of time in half" Although our narrator is attempting, and succeeds in speaking to their deceased loved ones, at what cost? Who Would Leave Their Son Out in the Sun is another song in our storyline, while loosely based in it, and does not feature The Hunter nor God, it still plays a part; and is the lyrical closer to this side. This song deals with the theme of Christ himself, the son of God, hence the name. This song also links together both of the main story themes shown to us so far, the themes of selfishness and religion, we see both of those at play here. This is also the first showcase of humanities denial of religion. "But there aren't enough archangels in the sky to come down (and), To make me feel right". The Hunter's influence has changed the present. We then see a contrast of, our narrator, whoever that may be on a metaphorical cross. Speaking their selfishness at the world "Everyone spends some time on the cross, I just want to make sure it's not a total loss, so maybe I'll get tanned, and lose some weight while I wait". Jesus was put on the cross and died for our sins, these lines show us that humanity doesn't care; selfishness is a sin is it not? This song shows us humanity as a whole, without The Hunter being there to influence, as they already have.
The closing track of side one is an instrumental song; a song linking the two sides in a way in There is no Food. This is a song that I can best describe as the suffering of modern-day humanity, in the noises we hear (which I know is partly Tim reciting a poem), they sound like the screams and suffering of the innocent, people who have done nothing to deserve any of this, but still suffer our consequences. The "Plow" has been done, by The Hunter themself, and now we suffer the consequences. The said "Plow" is our own selfishness towards everything, we will get what we want, whatever it takes.
Now onto Side two: The Future, I've probably already used most of my characters here so, sorry for that but, side two takes us on a bleaker journey. Here we see little mention of The Hunter, they are still here of course but, not mentioned by name; The Hunter is a metaphor anyway for humanity, which is what this side mainly focuses on, till its end. We open with Waiting for Black Metal Records; which in its name is a showing of humanities tolerance towards everything going on around them, it lyrically proves this too. The song deals with the theme of genocide in a way, and our intolerance towards it. We see the world being destroyed in front of us, by us but do nothing, we may say we will, but we ultimately won't do anything, and all we will do is sit around, waiting... for black metal records to come in the mail. Holy Fucking Shit then takes us into a bleak society, following on from the previous track, this is where we see humanity really fall apart, we see the metaphor used for replacing our hearts with metal parts and, how far is that from the truth? We're programmed to feel whenever we see genocides but do we really feel anything? The title in itself is also a double entendre. It's a reference to Warhammer yes, but also a reference to the annual suicide rates in America (at least at the time) which was 40,000. When we see that number, what do we feel, it may be sadness but we don't feel anything. That number is too large to comprehend so we move on. The song also compares humans to animals, as that is what we truly are. "And wolves all tear themselves apart better in packs". We are machines that breathe and weep and look really good. Trained to kill.
The title track to this side can be explained in one sentence: The Future is an instrumental track because there is no future. In more detail though, this song is an important one as it sets up the final leg of the album, the closing three songs after this are the most important on the entire album. This song is bleak and empty, there is nothing but beeps and mechanical noises, because that's what our future will be.