|» David DeFeis - Virgin Steele||
Cast of characters:
Keep in mind that Lilith, is a rebel. Should you need a frame of reference from the male perspective, perhaps something akin to a female Prometheus if you will? However She is actually something infinitely more powerful. She is the manifestation of the Primal Energy, the Life force, and creativity, indeed the Origin Of All Life itself. Due to the tremendous appeal, power and popularity of the Great Goddess within early Pagan Society/ Religions / Mystery Cults, etc., Patriarchal, Male God worshipping Societies felt their status threatened, therefore they enacted laws and actions in which the worship of the Goddess was made illegal. She was demonized, and attempts were made to make her become hateful to women. These attempts were only too successful. My story seeks to parallel what occurred long, long ago, concerning this shift and destruction.
One of the first times that we hear about Lilith is in the Ancient text "The Epic Of Gilgamesh". There She is described as an unpleasant squatter in a Tree. Lilith is often equated with the Egyptian Isis, Inanna, (sometimes called the hand of Inanna), also Astarte, Hecate, Sophia, Mary, and all the other powerful feminine deities. She represents the primordial fount of all Mother/Goddess figures. And yes, according to legend she was actually the first wife of Adam, prior to Eve. From earth / mud / clay, she was created, just as Adam was. Lilith felt that She was Adam's equal, a true mate & match for him. In the early Legends it is said that She & Adam were created as a dual being joined back to back. As such, Lilith wanted to remain independent, and did not wish to be subservient to the male personality, Will and ego. Adam, however, considered himself to be the Supreme Power. He claimed that it was decreed to him by his God, that he should be the master over Lilith. And so my friends trouble in Paradise/Eden began . anyway here we go...
ADORNED WITH THE RISING COBRA, could have been the lead off track on the album, as the Story actually begins there. This track is an Epic in the VIRGIN STEELE tradition, and it does contain new elements for us, most noticeably the sort of Bachian counterpoint guitar section. I play the "guitar solo" on this, which is also something new. "COBRA", is one of the first tracks I wrote for the album, and it began its life with that Sumerian sounding riff. I composed that song on my beat up Winter Company Musette piano, after first coming up with the riff while playing about on my Kersweill keyboard. OK, lets go back to the beginning. What happens storywise in this track is this. God gives "Birth" (or thinks he does), to Lilith in the Dark of Night, through the miracle of nocturnal emission, and forever lusts after her. (Hes got a great passion for Flesh!) However, she is not his child. Again what Lilith really is, is the exact other side of True Godhead the Goddess, or female half of Divinity. This God we are discussing is not a true God He is what the Gnostics called a demi-urge or half-maker. Lilith is part of a higher Authority/Energy/Emanation, an equal part of the True Oneness or God Above God. Anyway Lilith has awakened this particular Gods Dark, sensual Nature. However... this God is really very afraid of Lilith. He finds her ... "uncontrollable", wild, untamable and far too difficult to understand, so... he creates Adam in the Light Of Day, to be the mirror of his own image, thus IMMORTAL I STAND (The Birth Of Adam). "IMMORTAL", began with another riff that I wrote on the piano. I then came up with the fast maniacal verse and the chorus followed. I spent a great deal of time as I always do, making sure that the arrangement was precisely as it should be, adjusting the order of the sections and adding another bridge as needed. All right then...anyway, Adam & Lilith meet ... they try to have ... a Magick, Romantic Evening ... but everything goes horribly wrong. Oh yes... very wrong. Adam wants to be on top ... (sexually & otherwise), and Lilith wants the same so... they have an enormous fight! She pushes him off her and screams out bastard, he calls her, a bitch, and She flies off on her Glorious Green Wings! She is able to do this because she is in possession of the Power/Knowledge of the True Name of God. Lilith knows THE INEFFABLE NAME. She has found out that which was supposed to be forbidden and unknowable. In anger, rage and fear God & Adam curse Lilith . and Adam demands that God create him a new partner . Someone perhaps a bit easier going "THE INEFFABLE NAME", has many sections. some are full on Metal with all sorts of riffs and Gregorian Chant sounding chords, while others are quite singable. I like the juxtaposition of those kinds of elements. It got longer and longer as I was writing it!
In the aftermath of Lilith's dramatic flight, God does create Eve for Adam, to be Adams subservient, docile helper. Lilith then momentarily reappears, confronts Eve & Adam, and rages at them this is...BLACK LIGHT ON BLACK. Here is introduced the idea of what might have caused the real FALL from Grace/Paradise. Not the eating of any worm-ridden apple, but Adams ultimate defection from Lilith. He prefers to cling to his idea of superiority, with himself as Master to the submissive Eve, rather than explore the potential of equality with Lilith "BLACK LIGHT ON BLACK", was actually a bit shorter when I first wrote it. It felt incomplete to me, so I added another giant section, and now it has the proper ebb and flow of a full musical tale. I enjoy how it dramatically shifts gears and becomes something else to how it began, but then...returns once more to the initial idea.
Anyway, next our heroine winds up in the Red Sea where it is said that she cavorts with Demons and has numerous children with them. (This is the beginning of a smear campaign against her). Then along come Three Black Angels who begin to torment & abuse her. This is essentially the idea behind BONEDUST. "BONEDUST", like "BLACK LIGHT ON BLACK", goes to a totally different place after it begins, and then again does return home to its original concept. It has a singable, memorable chorus, a Bluesy verse and this strange, hypnotic, atmospheric middle section. I am actually singing Sumerian during that middle part.
OK...then...The Black Angels (sent by God), attempt to force Lilith to come back to Adam. They tell her, for this unlawful flight, this transgression, as punishment 1,000 of your children will die every day unless you return, we will kill them. She says ... "No! I am beyond your control. I know the Ineffable Name of God. This gives me Power! I do not have to come back, I will not come back, and your God knows this! The Angels are in confusion, as they were not aware of this arrangement with God. They however are great tricksters and of course with a God such as this, there must be punishment, so these crafty Angels contrive something truly dreadful. They devise a way to convince her that in return for her willfulness, stubbornness, independence, pride and femaleness She must in fact be the one to do these killings of children. And thus the process begins where she is dramatically transformed, turned from the Beautiful, Noble idea of the Great Goddess / Good Mother ... into the Terrible Mother / Evil Demon, repugnant to all women. This is the main point of the album....that turning...that destruction of the Feminine Divine in Paganism. What I am talking about specifically is the song...(ANGEL OF DEATH) This one is a huge Epic, with a slow but steady build up that peaks and then ends with a bizarre coda, in which all Lilith's suffering is revealed. Lilith is in rage and madness She takes their poison bait then later She comes to her senses and laments her Fate, but the damage has already been done. Infection sets in However, Her Pure Essence, her Divine Core cannot fully comprehend why She must become this dark, vile, hideous thing. She questions, she cries out, She begs, She implores the GOD ABOVE GOD, to deliver her from this tragic fate "GOD ABOVE GOD", is a Ballad that starts quietly and then continually builds up steam until it is going full on. Musically & Lyrically I am very satisfied with it. It contains one of my best vocal performances of this type, and without sacrificing any integrity, it could actually be a Radio track if...Radio played such things.
The Nobility in Lilith's Nature requires still further corrupting to be up to such killing, so She, (or is it the Angels again), conjure Samael...THE HIDDEN GOD. This track is quite heavy, and quite different from anything we have done so far. It has an aggressive yet seductive quality that is fitting for the personality of such a character as this. Unbeknownst to Lilith, Samael, is actually Adam in disguise. With his influence and trickery The Feminine Divine is finally overcome, seduced, perverted, corrupted and She becomes the CHILDSLAYER "CHILDSLAYER", burns pure white hatred, and features the fastest drumming thus far from Frank. This will be a favorite onstage I am sure.
Next up is WHEN DUSK FELL. Eve and all Women of the World begin their Eternal Lament "WHEN DUSK FELL", is not really a Ballad...I'm not sure what you would call it. It is very different to anything we have done. It contains this slow burning anger and hatred, that is perhaps even more sinister because the music is so melodic...in a very dark kind of way.
And the struggle begins/continues with VISIONS OF EDEN This is another Epic. It actually took me quite awhile to complete this one. I had most of the parts written, but assembling them into their coherent whole took awhile. I kept putting it off and working on other tracks first. I think that I wanted it to be something completely over the top, and I was afraid of fucking it up, so it took quite awhile for me to actually dive into it completely. I think it makes a nice ending, as it leaves the possibilities for continuation clearly visible in the tortured, blackened air...
Once again remember regardless of any Ancient, Myth-like qualities the nature of this Tale may invoke, everything that occurs is actually going on now in real time, in the mind of a specific Woman while she is being raped and this Story is not over yet no not yet