Like a coy lover, Artificial Brain continues to toy me with sparse hints regarding their next album, the follow-up to Toilet ov Hell’s best album of 2K14. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re going to have to keep waiting for the sweet consummation of this two-year-long flirtation, but at least the band is nice enough to give us a little titillation in the form of a revelation of lyrical content. Spoiler Alert: it’s about space. Kinda.
Vocalist Will Smith took a break from gettin’ jiggy wit it to take to the band’s Facebook page to let us know the concept of the sequel to Labyrinth Constellation.
Hey everyone, Will (vocals) here. I know we’ve been keeping you in the dark about our new album so I wanted to share this with you. It’s a brief summary of the lyrical themes on this upcoming album that was sent to the arist who will be doing the cover.
“8 out of 10 songs on this album loosely deal with the concept of a dystopian future in which humanoid “robots” (or “cyborgs” and/or other related humanoid machines) have long outlived human beings. This takes place in outer space as well as on unnamed planets (not neccesarily Earth). A recurring theme is the moment of awakening or becoming conscious for a computer based machine and how abstract thought would be interpreted by it. It is implied that the conscious machines/robots believe themselves to be not a creation of long extinct humans BUT a more perfect evolution (humans as LOWER than robots – planet of the apes syndrome). Also implied is that the machines eventually get scrapped or recycled in a massive junkyard/ reprocessing center which is a metaphor for the various takes on the afterlife. Like Dantes Inferno but with futuristic machinery and robots.
For what its worth, of the other two songs – one is about volcanoes and the other is basically the movie “the Blob” on a spaceship. These are not neccesarily important for the art but I thought worth mention.”
A loose concept album regarding artificial intelligence and space certainly isn’t out of Artificial Brain’s wheelhouse (most of the songs on Labyrinth Constellation seemed to be exploring topics of extraterrestrial life, space exploration, and technology), but the inclusion of a discussion regarding human evolution INTO machines is interesting. Plenty of other bands today write songs exploring questions of human consciousness and the morality of artificial intelligence (look at tracks like “Of Mind and Matrix” off Allegaeon’s latest), but few bands are looking at this topic from a Futurist perspective. If, as Ray Kurzweil and other futurists postulate, technology continues to increase exponentially until we can no longer comprehend the instant evolution of artificial superintelligence and the subsequent inconsequentiality of humanity, I imagine we’ll see even more lyricists starting to dabble within this conceptual framework. Will Smith is just ahead of the curve (just as he was on Big Willie Style).
For what it’s worth, two of my favorite songs regarding artificial intelligence and the valuation of autonomy are Nevermore’s one-two punch of “The Learning” and “Sentient 6.” If anything on the new AB rec even comes close to these, count me in.
The next Artificial Brain album will presumably be out early next year. The band promises it’s uglier and features 300% more blasting. For now, you can hear a live version of a new track and catch the band on tour in early 2017.