Dark Souls and Determination

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Look at the above image, and just TRY to tell me it doesn’t make you think of symphonic metal.

Dark Souls is so good. And it inspired not just our music, but our entire career! Let me explain…

See, we’ve always had a close relationship to videogames – in fact, the only reason any of us discovered symphonic metal in the first place was because of a Final Fantasy video on Youtube. That’s why you can see all that nerdy stuff in the background of our studio. We like to keep our inspirations visible.

In Dark Souls, you wander through a dystopian world of high fantasy, teetering on the brink of an inevitable apocalypse. The world is so close to its end, reality itself can’t hold together. The walls separating parallel realities and different points in time break at a moment’s notice – in fact you can literally cut through those walls with a single swing of your sword.

That’s what you’re seeing in the above image – locations from around the world and from different times all crash together within a great wasteland of entropy. The final hours of existence, and the death throes of reality as we know it.

“At the close of the Age of Fire, all lands meet at the end of the earth. Great kingdoms and anemic townships will be one and the same. The great tide of human enterprise, all for naught.”

It’s an incredibly nihilistic message. Dangerously depressing, if you stop to think about it too long. But then, Dark Souls is a franchise that’s all about cycles. Even at the end, the world begins anew. There’s also a message of hope – of continuing to fight in the face of overwhelming odds, and creating meaning of our own in the face of apparent meaninglessness.

“There is no path. Beyond the scope of light, beyond the reach of dark…what could possibly await us? And yet, we seek it, insatiably…”

Maybe this sounds cheesy, but…Dark Souls is more than a videogame. It’s been as much a source of inspiration as any of the bands that influenced us. Even as far back as our first album, it’s been a constant companion. We’d always finish a hard day of recording by dying ten times to the same boss and then finally figuring out how to win.

That in-game process created a kind of parallel motivation, encouraging us to keep getting back up and pushing even harder to create the best music we possibly could, and overcome all the limitations of being a broke unsigned band with no fanbase recording in a home studio (literally a bedroom, at the time – here’s a picture from way back in 2014):

“There is no path…what could possibly await us?” That quote resonated quite a lot when the dream of “making it” felt a million miles away. “And yet, we seek it, insatiably.”

And in the end, we did make it. Our music has been played on the radio as far away as Japan, and we were offered a spot at Bloodstock Festival in the UK before Covid fucked everything up – not bad for an unsigned band from the US making music on the internet, right?

And on this whole Dark Souls topic, here’s a brand-new video for our song The Fading Flame, inspired by Dark Souls! Enjoy!

And as a THANK YOU for being one of our subscribers, I’d like to give you the song totally free!

Download “The Fading Flame” for free here

If you like the track, you might also consider checking out Stillborn Reflection. It’s our sophomore album, full of technical riffing and emotive melodies, and has often been compared to old-school Nightwish (which is pretty much the greatest compliment a symphonic metal band could ask for).

Stay awesome!




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