101 things to do if you're locked in a room for the next fifty years with only a mattress, a boombox, and a copy of Insision's new album
1. Attempt to determine who your captors are, and what they might want from you.
2. Listen to Revealed and Worshipped, the new album by Swedish death metal torch-carriers Insision.
3. Enjoy the low end bits around the two-minute mark of the second song on the album.
4. Enjoy them rather a lot, actually.
5. Think again: who are your enemies? Did they pick this album for any particular reason, or is their theory more along the "anything in excess becomes unbearable" line of reasoning?
6. If the latter, ask yourself: is this a random kidnapping? Do these people not really know you very well? Are they trying to force you to test out your theories about how anything in excess becomes delightful, provided the excess is genuine?
7. Bang on the door.
8. Listen to the whispering bits in the title track, which are pretentious. Wonder if they will stop sounding pretentious and start making sense after ten years or so.
9. Freak yourself out by mulling over phrases like "after ten years or so."
10. Call out: "Is anybody gonna turn the lights back on?"
11. Wait for a response.
12. Moshpit in the middle of the cell! Who's with me? C'mon, it'll be fun! Don't make me mosh by myself!
13. Mosh by yourself.
14. If I had the chance I'd ask the world to dance.
15. And I'd be moshing with myself.
18. Think about that other Insision album you had, Beneath the Folds of Flesh. That was pretty good, wasn't it? But the vocals were a problem. They were recorded badly, and the delivery was really monochromatic - it wasn't just that you couldn't make out the words: it was hard to tell when one syllable had elided into the next. But the music had always seemed pretty good, hadn't it? Return to this question later.
19. Whoa dude the post-Van-Halen post-Trey-Azagthoth deep-space high-end lead guitar break in the song called "The Unrest!"
20. Like whoa dude that is fucking awesome!
21. Say it out loud: "Fuck yes!"
22. Get into a really self-defeating circular bit of thinking about how maybe your captors want you to like Revealed and Worshipped so it'll help if you verbalize your approval, but surely they must know that you'd think of that sooner or later and start verbalizing your approval even if you were faking it, and you're not faking it, and you want them to know that before they release you, because you don't want them to think you're the kind of person who wouldn't like a record as obviously awesome as Revealed and Worshipped; you wouldn't want them to think that about you, even if they are kind of assholes, because they have kidnapped you and locked you in a room without even any food, which makes you think, resentfully: "What do I care what these people think about what I think? I'm hungry!"
23. As though on cue, watch a tray of macaroni and cheese appear through a slot in the door which closes itself again after you have taken hold of the tray and removed it.
24. Have some macaroni and cheese.
25. "Hey, assholes! Would it have been too much to include a napkin with dinner? A fucking napkin? So I could wipe my mouth after I eat my mac 'n' cheese?"
26. "Which, don't get me wrong, is quite delicious, guys, really, my compliments to the chef"
27. Words like violence/break the silence
28. Martin Gore: worst lyricist ever, or just of all time?
29. As the ninth track, "The Cleansing," begins for the third time today, develop a real affection for it. Feel an excited fondness for the quasi-theatrical here-comes-something-now-wait-for-it build-up of the high-hat and single-note lead, and for the entrancing half-speed breakdown that follows.
30. Ask yourself: what is funk, anyhow? Isn't Insision actually kind of funky, in a sense?
31. No, really!
32. Play air drums.
33. For three days.
34. Learn to feel a perplexing but exact mixture of gratitude and rage over the twice-daily arrival of warmed wet washcloths, two or three at a time.
35. Scream loudly over the death metal that you play as loud as your boombox will allow: "Hey, fuckers! I'm washing my ass with the washcloth now! You got cameras in here or not? I hope so! I hope to fuck you do, so you can see me washing my ass! Yeeeeeahhhhh!"
36. Hang your head a feel a little bad about your condition, but not too bad.
37. After all, it wasn't your idea to get locked in a room with only a mattress, a boombox, and a copy of Insision's new album.
38. Maybe a nice lie-down would feel good right now, hey? Lie down on your mattress.
39. Close your eyes.
40. Press "play."
41. Listen to Revealed and Worshipped, the new album by Swedish death metal torch-carriers Insision.
42. Get really, really into the last song on the album, "Ideas of Revolution." Does it have much to do with revolution, you wonder? Is this the key to understanding your captivity? Or is that only a red herring, something to temporarily give you the hope that arises from having developed a theory - one which, in the absence of any evidence pro or con, must necessarily die of undernourishment?
43. Song fades out.
44. Press "play."
45. Listen to Revealed and Worshipped, the new album by Swedish death metal torch-carriers Insision.
46. Start arguing with imaginary naysayers, perhaps as follows: "Now I ask you: is that or is it not the way to start off a death metal album: big scream, huge guitars, everything sounding like it's not gonna let up - and then a nice dramatic pause, like a compressed version of the silence in heaven after the opening of the seventh seal?"
47. "And the minor-key twinned leads all over the place: Death Lizzy?"
48. "Not that we're breaking new ground or anything, but doesn't this seem like a really good example of the genre, with its inspirations spelled right out - Morbid Angel, Carcass, Vomitory? But there's really a nice hypnotic thing happening with Insision that you don't quite find"
50. Inevitably start thinking about God.
51. And your life as you've chosen to live it, or as you'd chosen to live it up until a year or two ago.
52. Interrupt your internal soliloquy to wonder how long you've been in here.
53. Two years? Three? Five?
54. Hey, suppertime! Do "Snoopy" dance around tray of mushroom risotto. What is this, a holiday?
55. "Well, people" - here looking around an empty cell: nothing on the walls, no visual stimulation of any kind outside of the mattress, the boombox, and the cardstock promo sleeve of the one album you've got - "shall we enjoy a little dinner music with our mushroom risotto?"
56. "Fantastic! I trust you're familiar with the Swedish group, Insision?"
57. Enjoy a delicious meal of mushroom risotto while listening to Revealed and Worshipped, the new album by Swedish death metal torch-carriers Insision.
58. Note that the cheesy spoken-whispered stuff has not really matured over time like a fine wine.
59. Muse to yourself as follows: "Considering that this cheesy spoken interlude is the closest I've come to a conversation in, what, ten years? Twenty? Who the fuck knows: anyhow, seeing as how that's the only language I ever hear outside of the incomprehensible vocals, excuse me, vokills of this excellent album, would I now sound Swedish if I were to talk with somebody? Do I sound Swedish when I talk to myself? How would I know?"
60. "And, moreover, would I find myself saying things like 'We are the ancient ones here on earth?'"
61. After dinner, fantasize about a universe in which Lovecraft was right about everything and monsters from the depths of time rule the void, occasionally poking their tentacles through to touch unfortunate persons whose hearts and minds will never recover from having faced the unthinkable vastness of the wholly and truly alien.
62. Along these lines, wonder to youself: did postmodern-lit people ever get into Lovecraft along the "other"/outsider axis, and if not, why not?
63. Research this using Google. Hahahahahaha! Joke's on us, then, isn't it: we don't have Google in here, because we don't have a computer!
64. Or a pen and paper, for that matter!
65. Or a copy of Better Homes and Gardens, which would certainly help pass the time a little!
66. Please? Anybody?
67. Listen to Revealed and Worshipped, the new album by Swedish death metal torch-carriers Insision.
68. "The new album."
69. Well, as far as you know, anyway.
70. What is your favorite song title on this album, you wonder to yourself. It's been a while since we played this game! Let's see, last time it was "The Foul Smell of Humans," though for the rather sad reason that it made you remember how nice a person's hair can smell if you're in love and the two of you are walking through a light rain together on a warm day.
71. Ahh: rain.
72. But what is it this time? By now, titles and content are inextrictably bound up with one another, as you have been examining the cardstock sleeve for most of your adult life. "The Foul Smell of Humans" is certainly one of your favorite songs on the album, partly because you think you can understand at least four of the words the singer is pronouncing, but isn't "In the Gallows" a better song, all told? It's more derivative, though: sounds a lot like "Ageless, Still I Am" offa Morbid's Gateways to Annihilation.
73. Wait, did you just call Morbid Angel "Morbid"? Hah.
74. "Grotesque Plague Mass"? Nah.
75. It's the title track, that's what the best title is here. Which is the worst single track on the album, sure. But "Revealed and Worshipped," that's like a whole narrative contained in three lousy words, one of them being a conjunction.
76. Hookin' up words and phrases and clauses.
77. I'm going to get you there if you're verrrrry careful.
78. Running a close second in the best title sweepstakes: "We Did Not Come to Heal."
79. Three months' meditation on the title "We Did Not Come to Heal" vis-a-vis your imprisonment.
80. At the end of three months, possible insight.
81. Not much, though.
82. Quiche Lorraine? Quiche bleeding Lorraine? What did we, hire Joel Robuchon around here?
83. Not that I'm complaining. We get wine?
84. Guess not.
85. Listen to Revealed and Worshipped, the new album by Swedish death metal torch-carriers Insision.
86. Let's revise that: Listen to Revealed and Worshipped, an album by one-time Swedish death metal torch-carriers Insision, now all doubtless dead or moved on jobs in the public sector.
87. "You're so good at this! What did you do before you learned deep-tissue massage?"
88. "Well, madame, thank you! Before I found my true calling, I sang songs like 'The Foul Smell of Humans' and made one of the best metal albums of 2004."
89. "Oooh...God...right there, yes. Jesus. I have gotta learn to relax."
91. Bang on the door, just for old times' sake.
92. Enjoy a quiet meal.
93. By which we mean only: turn the Insision down a little.
94. Not "off."
95. There is no longer any point in turning it off, except at bedtime.
96. And you need so much less sleep these days, now that you're older.
97. We are all older.
98. Some of us forgot about this excellent album as the years flooded by, deluging us with other, and newer records.
99. To your credit, you did not.
100. So raise your glass, if you have one, though you don't.
101. Here's to your health!