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05. When Death Dies

Ghosts Upon The Earth
by Gungor


Like the waters flooding the desert
Like the sunrise showing all things

Where it comes flowers grow
Lions sleep, gravestones roll
Where death dies all things live
Where it comes poor men feast
Kings fall down to their knees
When death dies all things live
All things live

Like a woman searching and finding love
Like an ocean buried and bursting forth

Where it comes flowers grow
Lions sleep, gravestones roll
Where death dies all things come alive
Where it comes water’s clean
Children fed
All believe
When death dies all things live
All things live

Behind the Song:
“When Death Dies” taps a little into my Puerto Rican side. (I’m half Puerto Rican, which for some who may wonder, may explain my larger than average booty.) The rhythm of the acoustic line is still a bit complicated for some of my more Caucasian band mates to feel correctly.

The tricky part of this song musically was to not take it all the way Latin. In the initial demos, I used a tumbaou bass line that really made it feel Latin, but it felt a bit out of place with the rest of our music, so we kept experimenting with different feels. We finally locked into one with McKenzie the drummer and my brother David, the bassist, right before McKenzie was about to leave the studio. We had already tracked a different groove and it felt cool, but I just didn’t get that ugly, scrunchy face when I listened to it yet. And I wanted it!

So when we finally landed on that groove, and saw all the ugly, scrunchy faces in the room, we knew we had found it. I’m proud of this song musically because I really haven’t heard anything like it before. The combination of the Latin rhythms with the sweeping string lines and really gritty bass and drums, and the flutes and the programming and everything else… It’s like a weird, experimental recipe that somehow ended up tasting good.

By the way, the drums on this track are recorded by one mono microphone in the room. And we tracked a lot of the stuff through an old tape delay machine, which is what gives it that old, imperfect sound. Also, when the strings and the flutes do that fast ascending scale into the melody of the bridge, I like to imagine that I am Burt Reynolds in sunglasses, driving a red convertible around a curvy road in the cliffs of Highway 1 overlooking the Pacific ocean in an 80’s action movie. Just saying.

Lyrically, this song is about resurrection. Coming out of “The Fall”, and its mindfulness of death and darkness, “When Death Dies” expresses the hope of redemption and of dead things coming alive again.

-- Gungor




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