Behind The Scenes: The Voynich Code On Ignotum

The Voynich Code - Promo 2015

The Voynich Code are just about to release their excellent EP Ignotum, so we decided to catch up with the band to get an insight into the songs – and not only that, vocalist Nelson Rebelo took the time to explain the meanings behind the lyrics as well, so if you want to learn more about the EP, then look no further!

About The Songs

Antithesis
This is the first song we’ve ever released, almost a year ago, and it’s still one of our favorites. Its structure is pretty conventional, with clearly defined choruses, played at a fast and energetic pace. As the song goes by, the intensity and complexity of the guitars and bass becomes more evident, making the song somehow progressive, to then explode in its climax through an epic breakdown layered with fast guitar sweeping. Its intro and keys atmosphere highlight the mysterious side of our band.

Amunet, The Decider
This is a pure straight in your face song: fast and heavy riffs with a twitch of melody and two solo segments to give you a little bit of oxygen and time to breathe. It’s one of the toughest songs on the record, and it’ll make you do ugly bad mofo faces while listening to it, we assure you – specially during the intro and the outro. The vocals are pure evil.

The Others
For most of us, this is the best track on Ignotum. It blends various styles and moods along the song, starting with a groovy intro, evolving into some fast breakdowns and then spicing the whole thing with some exquisite leads. In the end, the sky comes crashing down and an apocalyptic break down throws you right into the ground, revealing our subtle hardcore influence.

MS408
Named after the call number by which The Voynich Manuscript is catalogued in the Yale University’s Library, this is, inevitably the most enigmatic track on the record. This interlude is clearly divided in two passages, both featuring the same melodies with different rhythmical sections. Synths, vocal choruses and string instruments build a dark atmosphere for the first 57 seconds, led by the hypnotic sound of war drums, then carrying over the melody into a snare paced beat, engaging the chill out mode until the end of the song. This track shows that our musical influences can go way beyond metal, wherever mystery leads us.

Decoding of Life
This might be the most technical and challenging song on the record, mixing blast and break beats with groovy and atypical guitar and bass work. The egyptian presence is strong with this one, in terms of scales, atmosphere and transitions. The guitar shredding on choruses blend in perfectly with the keys and the vocals add a layer of brutality to keep the blood pumping, opening the way for the final track.

Acta Sancti
This is, by far, the darkest and deepest song on Ignotum. It’s more about rhythm than melody, and fear should be the keyword used to describe it. The bass follows the drum patterns closely, while the guitars swing from short leads to groovy rhythms. In the end, an epic finale, where keys are king, closing the record like you’ve just read a book full of mysteries and still got more intrigued and confused than when you started – clearly feeling like you want to give it another go.

About The Lyrics

The Voynich Code - Ignotum - coverIgnotum – the title
I choose Ignotum as the EP’s name because it represents the meaning of The Voynich Manuscript and the meaning of our lives. Ignotum means “unknown” in Latin. Just like the manuscript, and our lives. We’re born and we die, that’s the only thing we know, what happens in between is unknown, it’s up to us to make what we want of it the best we can.

Antithesis
I wrote this song thinking about this world’s population (in general). Nowadays people couldn’t care less about each other, even regarding their loved ones. I stated in the lyrics a hypothetical world where no one cares about anyone except for themselves. In this hypothetical world, every person I know tries to take advantage of my friendship and good will to benefit themselves. As soon as I open my eyes and see the truth that was surrounding me I use all the hate I’ve grown inside of me for believing that endless friendships still exist, and turn the tables around, being this the reason of the name Antithesis (in Hegelian philosophy) the negation of the thesis as the second stage in the process of dialectical reasoning.)

That’s why I start the lyrics with:
I’ve been taken away on a journey with no path.
Struggled to overcome broken bones of the past.
Chased glory on strangers seas.
Became everything you all need.

And end with:
You’ve been taken away on a journey with no path.
Struggled to overcome broken bones of the past.
Chased glory on stranger’s seas.
Destroying yourselves thinking you could destroy me.

Amunet, The Decider
Amunet was a primordial goddess in Ancient Egyptian religion. She is a member of the Ogdoad and the consort of Amun. But Amunet could never join forces with Amun, because if she did, Amunet would become the goddess of destruction alongside gaining everlasting perpetual life. In this song I associate that to Catholic religion, where I dress the skin of Amunet, join forces with Amun and give the option of finishing the lives of those who pray every day and never get an answer.

IMPORTANT: I’m agnostic, meaning that I don’t care if people believe in what ever. Actually, I think it’s important for people to believe in something, being it a religion, inner strength,you name it! I just don’t fancy being rubbed in the face with something I don’t believe by people who are beyond blind by their beliefs, almost forcing me to join their ways. People believe in what they believe, leave it be.

The Others
This song I consider the easiest to explain. It has a double meaning because I basically used the content from the movie The Others (2001) and tried to associate it to something that I always thought to be a possibility. Confusing? I’ll explain! The song means that we cannot fear what we don’t understand or what is beyond our compression, because we never know if what we fear, actually fears us. I relate this to animals. Being a huge animal lover myself I think most of the time we fear dangerous animals thinking that they were made to kill, when maybe the animals just attack us because they’re afraid of us.

MS408
The Voynich Manuscript is currently kept safe in Yale’s University general collection of rare books and manuscripts, this being the code of its archive MS408.

Decoding Of Life
This song represents a lot of what I face every day when I wake up. It’s about the meaning of life where I somewhat talk about how much people in this world believe that we have a destiny, that we are meant to be something inevitably, and then don’t do anything to reach their goals. Well, I think in a different way. I think our destiny is what we make of it, if we try to reach what we think is what we are meant to be, that’s the only way for it to happen. And like any lyric I write, I overthink everything, so I also talked about people quitting their lifetime goals because of constant failure. In this song I try to reach people saying that failure is a good thing and that we all learn from it, not from having everything we want without any effort at all.

This was one of the most fun lyrics I’ve wrote so far because I tried to use the If-Then-Else statements found In C++, C# and many other programming languages in the chorus! This is the meaning of life. Trying, Failing, learning, trying again (Infinite Loop). I choose the name Decoding of Life because I associate decoding to computer programming.

Acta Sancti
Acta Sancti means Deeds of a Saint in ancient Latin. I gave this name to this song because I dedicated this song to a person whom I love a lot, my father. I state in this song that living in this world without a creator has no meaning to me. That I would give my own life to protect that person. I invoke the speakers of the dead< and mother goddess (goddess who represents – or is a personification of – nature, motherhood, fertility, creation, destruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth) and beg to feed of my soul to give eternal life to my father. We all have people that we can’t live without, and I prefer to protect my loved ones for ever, than to live without them, even if that costs me my life.

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You can see our review of Ignotum here.

About Natalie Humphries 1780 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: nathumphries@soundscapemagazine.com or @acidnat on twitter.

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