Friday, June 29, 2012

Super Kaioken!: The Mythology of "High Renaissance"

With the release of Gone Wallace's newest project, The Parnassus, quickly approaching, we found it appropriate to take a closer look at the mythology surrounding the artwork and musical themes involved in the High Renaissance series.

Read more after the jump!

1. High Renaissance

Artwork artist note:

"Stricken with grief and rage at the untimely death of Splinter, Raphael seeks solitude in the deep sewers of New York City, neglecting any contact with his brothers. To keep his skills sharp and earn somewhat of a living, he engages in dangerous, high stake mutant street brawls. The self-destructive nature of his current living state has pushed him to the brink of insanity."


The series starts off in this universe where the sensei and father figure of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Splinter, has been killed. Each of the four brothers choose to grieve in different ways. Raphael, choosing to deal with his pain violently (reference 'Raphael'), becomes this rebellious vigilante who's self destructive lifestyle distances him from his brothers. He cares not for his own health any longer (reference 'Ghost Story', 'I Don't Care'). He just wants to feel something besides emotional and mental pain...

2. Decisions ft. Breeze (single)

During one of his typical nights of reckless vigilantism, Raphael runs into his brother, Leonardo. After a heated argument, a fierce battle ensues. During the battle, Raphael breaks his brother's ninjakens (ninja swords) and flees, leaving his brother exhausted and defenseless. As Raphael flees, Leonardo is kidnapped by The Foot Clan. When he returns to the scene, all Raphael finds is his brother's broken ninjajakens...

In the artwork, Raphael, grievously looks upon Leonardo's broken swords and realizes that his   reckless lifestyle affects not only himself but the people who love him, therefore he is forced to make a decision. The placement of the song title in the artwork is no mistake. On the left side of the word 'Decisions' you see Leonardo's broken swords, which symbolizes Raphael choosing his family over his life of vigilantism. While on the right side of the title, you see Raphael's helmet, which symbolizes Raphael choosing his life of incautious isolation...  

The April (EP) artwork features one of the brothers holding a picture of their good friend, April O'Neil. Being that she is the only female figure in their lives, she is the closest thing that any of them have to a love interest. Since being a mutant turtle makes it nearly impossible for one to find love, the turtles live a very lonely life. In fact, the very first track, 'Ms. O'Neil', contains a sample that recites, 'The sounds of the lonely...' 

While April tries her hardest to lead a normal life, the turtles attempt to use her to integrate themselves into human society. With the untimely death of their leader, the turtles need April's love and attention even more, but unfortunately she will forever be 'the one that got away'...

Each track has a light-hearted feel with dark undertones. 'Kelly', for instance, is a ballad dedicated to place in which I was my most comfortable from where I was exiled during one of the hardest times of my life. 'Planet Vegeta' discusses the pain involved in dealing with major change and while 'Supernatural' is a soulful ballad, it delves in the possibility that the perfect relationship could fail due to distrust and second guessing.

'The Kickback' is a little bit of a escape from the struggles in Raphael's life. Even though he is having a hard time dealing with this considerable lost, he finds that the fun-loving teenager is still somewhere inside of him. He still enjoys simply kicking back in front of the television to relax after a long day of "work." However an escape from one's problems or issues always prove to be a temporary one.

The EP starts off with a track ('Waiting') that points out some of the many struggles in life that may call for an escape or in this case a kickback. The EP itself can serve as a form of escape. The track even states 'Worry about the world when you get back.." , which is something that you will have to endure but for now, simply enjoy the time away. 'The Kickback' track walks you through the events that may take place at a kickback, while the track right after it, 'Be Sure', is a complete 180. It brings up certain issues that one may not wish to think about during their escape. However that's how life works. No matter how much fun you're having, there will be a moment where you remember that there are issues that need to be dealt with. 'Groovy' describes the escape within the escape, while 'Never Too Late' reassures you that its never too late to deal with or overcome a struggle. 'After you reboot it, you gotta shut it down...'

'The Parnassus' is all about acceptance and self-realization. It urges the listener to focus more on the beautiful things in life while living life to fullest in the process. Once one discovers how to properly deal with the struggles in life, they realize how strong they actually are... Climb The Parnassus on July 2nd...

Props to Geek Tyrant!

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