The story of The Fall of a Rebel Angel
Full narration of the story behind the last Enigma album
I. CIRCLE EIGHT
All seems fine. No surprises, life as usual. That’s your problem. Something’s wrong.
A giant bird sits in your room and flaps its wings: Geryon. Ready to fly you to Circle Eight.
Emptiness is a disease, but then again, those who’ve got nothing, have nothing to lose.
You search for love? Of course you do!
Love is a healer, but who heals love?
II. THE OMEGA POINT
Dripping tap. Endless night. Cold sweat, neon signs reflected on the wall.
Whispers in the dark. You’re all alone, you’re not alone. A thief of thoughts watches you.
Is this still home? The mirror’s broken, the window’s blind. This feels like prison. Those hidden voices keep on whispering: “You got to change. Your old you’s dying. Go find a new one!”.
You’re still afraid, you wear the life you live like a strait-jacket. It’s irksome, but you’re used to it.
But now this inner unrest grows and grows, you’re asking questions that have no answer.
As you look back into the past, it seems like a big wave out there in the ocean of time coming closer to the sound of a song and the rhythm of the dripping tap.
Or is it your heartbeat? You realize something has happened, but you don’t know what it is. All you know is you don’t belong here anymore. From a certain point onward, there’s no turning back.
That point has been reached, you’ve got to get out of here, out on the street. Got to break free.
Escape, search, find.
Poems written on water on the park lake at night. Here you calm down, no ghosts around.
Relax, let go and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and then… Immerse, submerge and drift away. Once under water, open your eyes and watch the lights above.
You always wanted to catch a falling star, so you rise to reach for one knowing well it’s all in vain. As you emerge, you find yourself in the open sea. Dolphins and whales greet you, one of them takes you for a ride to the rainbow. Visions are a striking example of how little reality means to us.
Childhood is lost for good, true love is a remote island. Everyone strives to get there, you’re not the first to beg for admittance.
IV. THE DIE IS CAST
Neon signs reflected on wet tarmac, cars passing by with lights like eyes. You look behind, sensing you’re followed.
Then right before you, out of a gateway, a group of monks approaches you, all dressed in red bordered frocks. They surround and block your way. They want to know what you think, they want to know how you feel, they want to know who you are.
You don’t have an answer. So what you say? You are not sure what you think, you don’t believe in what you feel, you’ve forgotten who you are. The monks nod, they don’t get angry: “We keep track of the thoughts in your head. We even know ‘bout the hole in your heart. Make no mistake. You’re being controlled”.
And then they let you pass on. You run, run fast. Are you pursued? Not that.
Something is calling you, something intangible like light on black water, like that shooting star you wished upon so long ago and you wonder if you’ll ever catch it.
Those cars driving past seem to be empty, but they know where to go. You’re empty, too, but without destination. Run any way. No matter where to.
One thing’s for sure: there’s no turning back from Circle Eight.
You’ve turned into a side street: a wise move. No monks here, not even passers-by. You’re still out of breath, time to calm down.
A black limousine comes down the lane and stops next to you. The back door opens, you don’t hesitate to get in.
The driver’s a woman: she doesn’t ask where to, she just starts to drive and you sit in the back seat leaning back, closing your eyes. Soft music’s soothing your troubled mind.
The driver begins to talk to you as to a close friend. She knows your first name, she knows your past, she remembers your sins. Who is that woman?
You know this voice. Can it be? It’s your mother’s voice, giving you advice, as always. No, it can’t be your mother, she wouldn’t be that young. And anyway, she’s gone.
“I’m used to reading your dreams” — the woman at the wheel contends — “I know your secret wishes”. You ask: “Who are you?”. And she answers: “I always knew where to take you. Look, here we are! Time to get out”.
The car has stopped in front of a magnificent villa. She walks you to the gate. Turning around she says: “Go enter the realm of dreams!”.
VI. AGNUS DEI
You’ve crossed the threshold, you’re walking through a hallway. Mirrored walls and mirrored ceilings.
There are those voices again whispering in your head. As you watch your reflections in a hundred mirrors, fear tells you: “Turn around! This is a maze with no way out”. But persuasion whispers: “Go on, go up those stairs into the inner sanctum”.
Above the doorway a familiar writing: “All hope abandon, ye who enter here!”. Compliantly, you check your hope at the cloakroom.
You are approached by a clown. Funny smile painted on a mournful face, he’s offering consolation. You’re not interested and this upsets him. As you move on you hear him yell: “God-damned Agnus Dei!”. Never mind, walk down the corridor.
As you pass a hundred doors you hear wheezing and groaning, cries of pleasure from within. You smell the scent of sin and naked skin.
Ah, that insatiable hunger for love!
Have you ever known happiness? There’s a memory you cling to, it makes you surrender, but the lips you kiss are cold, the eyes you read tell lies.
There’s just one breath of air between Heaven and Hell. Lesson learned, lesson ignored. You’ve been deceived! Story of your life…
You hate your reflection, you break the mirror. You walk through the broken glass and you’re out on the street. Over there’s a church, a cathedral rather. Seems the right place to go to.
Stone statues guard the portal. Voices in the air: “Redemption is drawing near”. The door’s locked. Never fight curiosity. So you knock and rattle waking up the statues. They actually start to move, whining, wailing. They reach out for you.
Just before they can grab you, the portal breaks open. Red smoke from the inside billows over the floor. Curiosity’s got a mind of its own, you take the plunge and enter the dark.
A bell rings.
VII. SADENESS (PART II)
The sound of an organ draws you in. Invisible hands touch you and push you ahead. By and by your eyes adjust to the darkness. A million prayers and a billion curses float through the air and tumble to the ground turning into red smoke.
This cathedral is terribly dilapidated, the pews are broken, the walls are crumbling. Some ragged flags, some mouldy saints and a large hole in the roof.
At the sanctuary a group of monks in red bordered frocks chanting blasphemous psalms. A magic ritual inspiring an ecstatic priest in ceremonial attire.
He’s facing the altar with arms extended turning his back to you. Is he praying? No, he listens to some mysterious massage: “Viens chez moi, je suis ton destin”.
You’re intrigued, you walk up to him, and when you’re right behind him, he turns around and you stand petrified.
The priest is a woman, the face of the limousine driver. She’s half naked, lascivious smile, sensuous lips, perfect body: “Sade j’ai compris. Sade je te suis”.
Angel or devil? You’re tempted, confused, scared. She beckons you to come closer. Her eyes hold you, her words grab you, her beauty feeds your dreams.
Your fear catches fire and burns to ashes. You feel lighter, better, saved, being aware, of course, you’re still lost. You’re ready to give in, ready to give up. You need to touch her, but you grasp at nothing. She’s gone.
A vanished illusion. The image remains stored.
VIII. LOST IN NOTHINGNESS
And then there’s peace.
The cathedral turns into an ice palace. The columns, the walls, the statues and the pews, the waste and the flags: all ice now. Solid, glossy ice.
The monks transformed into crows have left the building through the hole in the roof. The nave’s not dark anymore. Everything around you is white now, glistening, clean.
Colorful rays of light flood in through the roof, and in their trembling luminescence flickers a vision of Mary Magdalene. Unite ye misjudged of the earth.
She blesses you and your cold, cold heart feels warm. Your insecure mind understood at last. And when she says: “Don’t take yourself so seriously”, you close your eyes and start to see neverending wonders of flowering gardens, shimmering ponds, peaceful animals and loving humans.
There’s no malice, there’s no spite, no ugliness, envy or fight. Harmony.
They say freezing to death is the best way to die.
IX. OXYGEN RED
A foggy morning. You’re back on the street and from nowhere a voice is bolstering you:
“This is your life. Why waste it with memories of the past and questions ‘bout tomorrow? Ghosts hate the daylight, so use the moment to leave them behind. Set before you is a blessing and a curse.
Thoughts can heal you, thoughts can kill you. Words can save you, words can break you. Emotions may guide you or betray you. Oxygen blue is salvation, oxygen red is poison.
As you think, so shall you be. Don’t eat the bread of the beast that has the evil eye and remember the old Indian warning that there’s a good wolf and a bad wolf fighting for your soul.
Be careful which you feed. Don’t let the air you breathe become oxygen red. As sure as day follows night there must be a way out of this maze.
Smile! It’s not that bad. Without struggle, there can be no progress. Now is the right time for a new try to get on with life.
The change you seek is you!”.
X. CONFESSION OF THE MIND
Street vendors sell love, trying to get your attention by barking out a list of famous singers and naming your favorite songs: “All you need is love, love, love”.
Their merchandise is crap, of course. The real thing’s not for sale, all you can get is a replica. You’ve had those before! You’re not interested…
So what do you do here? Looking around you see that one of the stalls is a confessional box. It promises peace of mind, exactly what you need now! That’s why you came here.
You enter and kneel down. Now you’ve got a problem: whom shall you pray to? Your God is gone. You’ve left Him somewhere, forgot Him long ago.
The curtain is drawn back and through the wooden lattice a voice says: “Welcome back, Agnus Dei”. The priest is the clown you’ve met before: “May the Lord be in your heart”.
You start your confession by acknowledging your sin with true sorrow: “I’m heartily sorry for having lost myself”.
The clown says: “That’s not a sin. However, I regret to see you’ve lost all faith in being found. That is your sin! And I’m afraid, a deadly one. Unfortunately, I can’t absolve you, I’m only a clown. You must go to the lake and throw your image into the water”.
You can’t believe he’s serious. Is that all? “Life is really simple. Why do you insist on making it complicated?”. With this he’s closing the curtain.
End of confession.
A sunny afternoon at the park lake. Waves ripple ashore, birds sing in the trees, children laugh and shout at some playground in the distance.
And here you stand looking at your reflection trembling on the water, you ask: “Who am I?”. And your picture looks back at you and answers: “You’re no longer who you were, you’re almost who you’ll be. Ego te absolvo”.
You bent down, you pick up a stone and as you hold it in your hand, it’s getting heavier and heavier. And just before it’s too weighty to hold any longer, you throw it with all your might into your face on the water. And all of a sudden you feel lighter, relieved, free.
And angels start to sing…
You’re ready now to make the trip to the place your soul has reached long ago on Geryon’s wings: Circle Eight!
And so you walk out of this spot, out of this town, out of this life. No map, no GPS lists your road.
A via incognita, exclusively yours. It will lead you through woods and deserts, across ravines and chasms, past gigantic cities and the ruins of fairy-tale castles. En route, you will get tired, but you will not lose hope.
Whenever you lay down to sleep at the roadside, you’ll close your eyes with a smile. You believe again you will be found, you hear someone calling you. Far away someone’s waiting for you.