Combine the elements of progressive rock, film scoring and very modern production; 3. Use the work of Richard Dawkins (one of today's most influential neo-Darwinist writers) as a concept that connects all the pieces on the album. Its second album, called An Absence of Empathy, had the vocals of Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row). The basic concept behind An Absence of Empathy, was initiated by Shawn Gordon, president of ProgRock Records. Several years ago, he played keyboards for the band Zircadian; they had a partially written concept album under the name Prophet Savant, which led to the initial idea for An Absence of Empathy.
In the original storyline, a man experiences different forms of violence because he becomes a kind of seer. They had written a song for an epic battle and two torture scenes. In countless e-mails and meetings (one including Stephan Kernbach from Chain), Shawn and Henning Pauly developed this idea into the storyline and concept that is now the foundation of the new Frameshift album. They first dropped the mystical approach; then, by distancing the concept from being a story around a person, and instead focusing on what that person experiences, the story portrayed a more realistic situation. In this respect, like Unweaving the Rainbow, the album actually does not have a real storyline.
Instead, it is a series of songs revolving around the same topic. An Absence of Empathy: The Concept "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent" This quote illustrates what this album is about. It is about violence -- human violence, to be precise. It is ever-present and, in varying degrees, ingrained in all of us.
Just like wood grain, violence is inherent to our nature, but the question is, what factors determine who lets is show through and how does it show itself? The same questions haunt the protagonist of An Absence of Empathy. He is a curious individual who wants to know why the media is filled with news about murder, rape and war -- and he is afraid that he might have the potential for violence himself. He starts to research the subject, but it isn't enough. It can't show him what motivates the person that acts violently or what plagues them, and it doesn't make him feel the pain of the victims.
His desire to understand one of humanity's most basic traits leads to a series of vivid dreams - dreams that appear to be so real that he can't escape this dreamworld until it is all over. In them, he becomes the killer, he becomes the rapist, he becomes the soldier, he becomes the mother crying for her daughter who was raped. The first song introduces the theme and illustrates how our main character is plagued by his questions about humanity's major flaw. He starts a journey into the minds of other people to experience violence firsthand. At the end of the album, he draws his own conclusions, and asks himself if there is nothing else to us besides hurting each other.
The answer he finds is worthy of discovery. An Absence of Empathy takes you into the psyche of several different people who are either experiencing or acting out violence. Each form of violence is dealt with in two songs, each one shedding light on a different point view of the scenario. For example, one song illustrates a torture scene from the point of view of the torturer; its counterpoint takes you into the same room, this time from the point of view of the tortured. Another pairing is about violence in schools.
One song deals with a teacher using psychological violence towards his students (who then rebel), while the other song is about a school shooting. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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