The best records feel immediately familiar, like a classic record you’ve heard a dozen times by the end of your second listen, while offering something fresh to the mix. That’s certainly the case for Celestial Prophecies, the second album from Midwest death dealers Machinations of Fate.
Despite hailing from Newport, Kentucky, Machinations of Fate sound distinctly Swedish. It would be impossible not to draw comparisons to bands like Dissection and Hypocrisy—and, to a lesser extent, At the Gates, In Flames and Dark Tranquillity—but Machinations of Fate have the songwriting down to a point where it doesn’t feel like a copy. Celestial Prophecies is well paced, mixing shorter interlude tracks, standard four-to-five minute bangers and longer songs together so that the album never feels too one note.
Decibel connected with the band to acquire a full stream of Celestial Prophecies alongside a track-by-track breakdown from vocalist Cody Knarr. Dig in and score your own copy via Redefining Darkness.
This is a more straightforward song in terms of lyrics. It was the first one I wrote and it’s about a man gaining the fleeting power of a god, abusing those powers, and ultimately losing them as oblivion itself devours him. A split second on a cosmic scale – as the machinations of fate slowly move – could have been an aeon in earth years, so who knows how long this god actually held his powers.
The title track, “Celestial Prophecies” was originally recorded as a demo with Ash Thomas (Faithxtractor, Estuary, Shed the Skin) on vocals, and we choose to keep his lyrics for the album version.
“Cosmic Womb” is about a man who hears a voice in the back of his head beckoning him to a cathedral hidden deep in a cave. Here a shrine is built to an ancient goddess – the Celestial Mother. The man is reborn as a herald to this timeless deity, and is eventually consumed by her, his energy now a part of her ever-waning strength.
To Gaze Upon the Venomous Horizon
This one is about the implications of Oppenheimer creating the atomic bomb and how that relates to human nature.
Void Indoctrination Ritual
The direction for this song was inspired by old Weird Tales stories. I love the random H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Frank Belknap Long stories that created a dark mysterious mythos. So, I wanted to write about a human-devouring interdimensional eldritch god that required human sacrifices from its cult. In this song, there’s imagery of this invocation and the human devourment that follows. Once its appetite is satiated, the blood-thirsty monster returns from wince it came…until sacrifices are required again.
Of Deimos and Phobos
“Of Deimos and Phobos” is probably as close as I get to writing in metaphors on this album. It’s about a man who is controlled by his fear, panic and depression. He’s influenced through an overlap of dimensions, which creates a connection to energies that from the gods Deimos (dread) and Phobos (fear). By overcoming his own emotions, he is able to use this same connection to take control of Deimos and Phobos, resulting in him becoming what he used to live in fear of.
“Demise” is an old arrangement that Jason has had laying around for a long time. Since this is a bonus track, I had a looser approach while writing lyrics. It’s about a Kaiju, a godzilla-like creature, that is growing at the earth’s core. Following a polar shift, the creature awakens and wreaks havoc on the earth’s surface.