Afterlife

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This peace on earth’s not right, with my back against the wall. No pain or sign of time, I’m much too young to fall. So out of place don’t wanna stay, I feel wrong and that’s my sign. I’ve made up my mind.” –Avenged Sevenfold, Afterlife

"Afterlife" single cover by Avenged Sevenfold - source: www.soundcloud.com

Band rock asal Amerika Serikat, Avenged Sevenfold, merilis album keempat mereka pada tanggal 26 Oktober 2007. Dari album dengan self-titled ini, sebuah lagu bertajuk “Afterlife” dirilis sebagai single ketiga pada tanggal 29 Januari 2008. Album “Avenged Sevenfold” sukses secara komersial, dengan debut pada posisi empat di tangga lagu Billboard 200. Album ini meraih sertifikat Gold dari Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). “Avenged Sevenfold” merupakan album terakhir yang melibatkan almarhum drummer James “The Rev” Sullivan, sebelum ia meninggal dunia pada tahun 2009. Dari album tersebut, lagu “Afterlife”, yang diciptakan oleh almarhum The Rev, terpilih sebagai lagu terbaik dalam homepage Avenged Sevenfold.
I interpret this song in two ways. The first interpretation is based on Matt Shadows and Zacky Vengeance’s statement about “Afterlife”. It’s a song about self-reflection. Shadows stated, “It uses the sort of metaphor of falling into the afterlife and arguing with the gods and realizing you kind of left too soon and didn’t do the things you needed to do. You didn’t get to make up with your father; you didn’t get to let the ones that you love know that you love them. It’s kind of saying live in the moment and be the person you want to be now before it’s too late.” Meanwhile, Vengeance said, “The song is about a man who dies early and finds himself in heaven. Upon entering, he realizes that he has too many things to do on Earth, and to go back and make it right he has to escape from the afterlife.”
It’s about a man in the edge of death. In his under-consciousness he realizes that it’s not the time yet to die. He got to wake up and move on from it. “Like walking into a dream, so unlike what you’ve seen. So unsure but it seems, ‘cause we’ve been waiting for you. Fallen into this place, just giving you a small taste of your afterlife here. So stay, you’ll be back here soon anyway. I see a distant light, but girl, this can’t be right. Such a surreal place to see, so how did this come to be arrived too early? And when I think of all the places I just don’t belong. I’ve come to grips with life and realize this is going too far.” Death is the easy way out, and he knows that he shouldn’t take that. Not now, at least. “A place of hope and no pain, perfect skies with no rain. Can leave this place but refrain, ‘cause we’ve been waiting for you.” There are so many people waiting for him, need him to be there, so he got to come back. He got to live. “Loved ones back home all crying ‘cause they’re already missing me. I pray by the grace of God that there’s somebody listening. Give me a chance to be that person I wanna be. I am unbroken, I’m choking on this ecstasy. Oh Lord I’ll try so hard but you gotta let go of me. Unbreak me, unchain me, I need another chance to live.”

"Avenged Sevenfold" album cover by Avenged Sevenfold - source: www.last.fm

My second interpretation is that “Afterlife” is a song about a broken-hearted man. The term ‘afterlife’ here is the metaphor of the post-breakup syndrome. “Gave me your hand but realize I just wanna say goodbye. Please understand I have to leave and carry on my own life.” He’s been drowned in that ‘afterlife’, but he soon realizes that he got to get out from there. He has to say goodbye to the past and move on. “I don’t belong here, I gotta move on dear, escape from this afterlife. ’Cause this time I’m right to move on and on, far away from here. Got nothing against you and surely I’ll miss you, this place full of peace and light. And I’d hoped you might take me back inside, when the time is right.” Those lingering feelings and unforgettable memories keep holding him back. But he needs another chance to continue living. As hard as it gets, as must as he has to break free. “Loved ones back home all crying ‘cause they’re already missing me. I pray by the grace of God that there’s somebody listening. Give me a chance to be that person I wanna be. I am unbroken, I’m choking on this ecstasy. Oh Lord I’ll try so hard but you gotta let go of me. Unbreak me, unchain me, I need another chance to live.”
Sebuah music video (MV) dari lagu “Afterlife” dirilis secara resmi pada tanggal 12 Maret 2008. MV ini disutradarai oleh Wayne Isham. “Afterlife” so far is the third highest charting single released by Avenged Sevenfold, after “Welcome to the Family” and “So Far Away”. For me, it’s my second favorite song of them after “Seize the Day”. Coincidentally, those two songs were written by the late The Rev, and then I feel this kind of chill when I hear these songs now. Because somehow, the songs’ lyrics are about life and death, and the writer had passed away now, so I kind of feel, “Was he got this feeling like he would be gone soon? Was he already got that kind of intuition?” Indeed, the late The Rev had an amazing skill and talent. I could feel the depth in every of his lyrics. It feels like he’s been living for centuries, that he’s been through so much more than a person could imagine. His perspective of life, I’m so amazed with it. I always think that he’s gone too soon. The world had lost a great person. Hence, his works of art will remain forever as his legacy.

I don’t belong here, I gotta move on dear, escape from this afterlife. ’Cause this time I’m right to move on and on, far away from here. Got nothing against you and surely I’ll miss you, this place full of peace and light. And I’d hoped you might take me back inside, when the time is right.” –Avenged Sevenfold, Afterlife



“Like walking into a dream, so unlike what you’ve seen
So unsure but it seems, ‘cause we’ve been waiting for you
Fallen into this place, just giving you a small taste
Of your afterlife here so stay, you’ll be back here soon anyway

I see a distant light, but girl, this can’t be right
Such a surreal place to see, so how did this come to be arrived too early?

And when I think of all the places I just don’t belong
I’ve come to grips with life and realize this is going too far

I don’t belong here, we gotta move on dear, escape from this afterlife
’Cause this time I’m right to move on and on, far away from here

A place of hope and no pain, perfect skies with no rain
Can leave this place but refrain, ‘cause we’ve been waiting for you
Fallen into this place, just giving you a small taste
Of your afterlife here so stay, you’ll be back here soon anyway

This peace on earth’s not right, with my back against the wall
No pain or sign of time, I’m much too young to fall
So out of place don’t wanna stay, I feel wrong and that’s my sign
I’ve made up my mind

Gave me your hand but realize I just wanna say goodbye
Please understand I have to leave and carry on my own life

I don’t belong here, I gotta move on dear, escape from this afterlife
’Cause this time I’m right to move on and on, far away from here
Got nothing against you and surely I’ll miss you, this place full of peace and light
And I’d hoped you might take me back inside, when the time is right

Loved ones back home all crying ‘cause they’re already missing me
I pray by the grace of God that there’s somebody listening
Give me a chance to be that person I wanna be
I am unbroken, I’m choking on this ecstasy
Oh Lord I’ll try so hard but you gotta let go of me
Unbreak me, unchain me, I need another chance to live”

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