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"Dead Again" Analysis


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In August I made two posts analyzing "Shockwave" and "The Gift" as two songs linked together, a duality of sorts depicting Ultimis and Primis Richtofens' perspective on the cycle. I've decided to revisit "Dead Again" to get a better understanding of the lyrics from a modern lens with the Aether storyline having ended. Feel free to chime in with your own interpretations as well.

 

Preface: While Shockwave is from Ultimis Richtofen's perspective and The Gift is from Primis Richtofen's, I see Dead Again as being from every Richtofen's perspective, the sort of "hivemind" as Richtofen described it in Alpha Omega once the Aether has connected them all.

 

A wolf is at my door

I feel it

I see it in my dreams

a world of my design

[Immediately we are given similar imagery to "Shockwave" with the mention of Richtofen's dreams. He's a man with many aspirations, and both Primis and Ultimis Edward join the Illuminati, an organization set on designing a new world order in their own vision. Ultimis leaves them to make the world his "own personal plaything" within the MPD, and Primis wants to finally be safe in Agartha, a dimension beyond existence where he can make his own rules.

At this point, Richtofen is still an optimistic dreamer, but he has no idea yet what is to come. The wolf at his door could be interpreted a couple of ways, such as the Wolf King and The Great War being just around the corner despite Primis Richtofen's dreams, or the Apothicons working against Ultimis Richtofen.]

 

A forced enlightening

reveals it

I found a life that I malign

and I feel it

[Neither Richtofen asked for their fate. Ultimis simply sought to advance the teleporter project, and ended up with voices in his head telling him everything. Primis simply was awoken in the middle of the night as his other self arrived with blood vials, and he was eventually forced to recover the Kronorium. Both the voices and the Kronorium were forced enlightenment, telling Richtofen all about the past, present, and future. Primis Richtofen in particular was forced to find out about his Ultimis self and the chaos he had wrought, a life that he maligns.]

 

I feel so strange

Like I'm everywhere

and that no one was there

[When Richtofen reads the Kronorium and collects his eternal soul, he is connected to every other version of himself in an instant. He feels all of their pain, and the loneliness they all feel. He lost his parents, and nobody trusts him. For the most part, he has nobody. He alone must carry the burden of saving the universe.]

 

We only want to live forever

Repeat serial suicide

you can't find you 

and hide

[Richtofen outright states his intention with the blood vial plan, he intends to carry on living after completing Monty's plan. But he also knows he needs to save his eternal soul, and so he continues killing his other selves with each iteration of the cycle, "serial suicide." Pay attention to the pronouns he uses here, "you can't find you and hide." At this point he has not fully associated himself with past Richtofens of the cycle. He believes he is different, and that he will triumph above them. We see a similar line about finding himself in The Gift:

"Light of my life

find my shadow 

wandering in my mind"

Richtofen can find the other versions of himself literally, but he can't seem to figuratively find himself. Primis disassociates from Ultimis, the "evil" him, because he does not like the idea that he could do the things he did.

He also cannot hide from himself. The wolf is always at the door, and Richtofen is doomed to chase down and kill his other selves again and again.]

 

Am I dead

Is it all over

There is no pain here

[This could be interpreted as Dimension 2210 Eddie within the Summoning Key or in the House, wondering if he is truly dead. Pain is a key theme in The Gift, as Primis Richtofen feels guilt for his role in the cycle, and wishes to give all of his pain to himself, the person responsible for all this.

There is no pain for young Eddie, but is he truly "alive?"]

 

You lead and I'll follow

My tree of life is hollow

The tide has turned into rain

[Again focus on pronouns as they will be changed later. "You" as in the Richtofens of the past, lead, and "I" will follow behind, trying not to make the same mistakes again.

 

The tree of life exists in many mythologies, particularly Norse, where it is known as "Yggdrasil" which many theorists here may be familiar with and know its connections to Zombies lore. I see two interpretations with this line. One: Richtofen's own tree of life is still standing as Eddie remains in the house, but the version of him that drank the blood and fought in the Great War is hollow. Two: This could also be a reference to the Hollow Earth theory, which has been referenced time and time again, with it being speculate that the Aether can be reached by digging into the Earth.

 

The tide turning into rain I believe has two meanings that both relate. At the end of Der Eisendrache, the Moon is destroyed, the Moon being responsible for Earth's tides, and by destroying it, Earth's weather patterns within the fractures are disrupted. On a deeper level though, we should look back to "The Gift":

"I glow in moonlight 

You fall like rain "

Tides "glow" in moonlight, and in "The Gift" these lyrics seem to signify to change of power between Richtofens. For the tide to turn into rain though is to point out those Richtofens' relationship. What happens to one affects them all.]

 

Beneath a waning light

I see it

A creeping shadow spire

will bleed into the sky

[A metaphor for Richtofen's own personal cycle, with light falling and darkness rising. This is referenced again in "The Gift":

"Up in the sky

down wind another 

light goes dim"

Shockwave also seems to reference this exchange of power between Richtofens with them rising into moonlight. Primis Richtofen has failed, and the cycle will soon restart with Ultimis Richtofen in the "lead," the creeping shadow within his mind.]

 

Carotid tightening

conceals this

mortality

[The carotid arteries carry blood to the neck and head of the body, and by tightening this artery, you are keeping the blood in place, while killing the rest of the body. This I believe is in reference to the blood vial plan, one which will keep Primis "alive", albeit without their souls. Their mortality is thus concealed.]

 

These moments freeze 

and fall away

from duality

[I could see a variety of interpretations here. One way to look at it is that by securing Eddie's soul in the House, the Primis and Ultimis Richtofen that we know, the duality of Richtofen, will fade away along with all of their thoughts and memories. This, I believe, is Primis Richtofen's worst fear. He desperately wants to go on living in his own body. Interestingly, this is the inevitable fate that he could not face seen at the end of Tag der Toten. All of Primis and Ultimis' memories fade away as the duality is resolved and a single universe is created.]

 

I hear my name

In a voice like mine

That I hear in my mind

[In both "The Gift" and "Shockwave", Richtofen worries about his own name; How he will be remembered, and how someone is taking something away from him while whispering his name. He fears himself: a selfish egotist with delusions of grandeur. Without his soul intact, he can sense all of them at once.]

 

The time has come

to leave for never

[At the end of Revelations, the time has come for him to "leave forever" in being wiped from existence, except, because of the blood vials, he will always return.]

 

I peel the fabric back

and see me hide

I can't hide from I 

and hide from me

[At this point in time, he finally associates with all the past versions of himself who failed. He has taken a peek "behind the fabric" into other dimension and within the Kronorium. He sees now that he cannot escape his fate, no matter how hard he tries.]

 

Am I dead

Is it all over

Where is my pain now

In my head

it draws me closer

Will it know my name

[Again, Richtofen is concerned with his name. From "Shockwave": "They'll hear my name." He is desperate to continue living... to be remembered... to change the world. He wonders now, as his soul remains safe, where the pain in his life has gone, as if he misses it. As if it is what makes him truly alive. When this cycle is all truly over, will he be remembered? "It," or death, draws him closer and closer in this war of attrition.]

 

I feel it again 

and again I feel it

I feel it when It's closing 

my eyes I feel it

I see it again 

and again in my mind

I see it 

when I look at the sky

and I am

Alive again

[All he sees now is death, and he doesn't know if he can face it. He was too blind to see it coming. But closing his eyes or looking to the sky and dreaming of a better tomorrow will not save him. Death comes for us all. Except, Richtofen had a plan, an insurance policy, to stay alive. And thus, the cycle begins again, and he is alive. Again.]

 

I'm alive

I feel the pain now

I'm really here

(I’m really here)

(I’m really here)

I'm alive now

I'm alive now

I'm alive I'm alive

Now I die

(again…….yeah)

[He's truly alive again, living his normal life before his corruption. He feels the pain he so dearly missed. He was an orphan, destined to become a great scientist. One day, his name will be known by everyone. He will change the world.

 

But, none of us can escape our fate. He is forcefully enlightened, and the cycle of life and death continues.]

 

Are we dead

Is it all over

(again…….yeah)

Where is the pain 

now

You lead and we'll follow

Our tree of life is hollow

The tide has turned into rain

[Now he says that "we" are dead. "You" lead and "We'll" follow. Richtofen was delusional enough to believe that the Insurance Policy would be how the cycle is broken, that he, the individual, would set things right. But it has been tried before, so many times. All the past, dead Richtofens, made the same mistake. Here the tree of life unifies them all, each of them leaves connected to one another, their soul removed. They're dead again.]

 

Are we dead

Did we cross over

What is our name now

(What is our name)

Are we dead now

Are we dead now

Are we dead again

[When we're dead, is our name remembered? When the day comes that the cycle does end, and this torment has ended, will Richtofen have his own place in this bright new future? Or will he just fade away and... die?]

 

Okay this analysis got a little too real. Bravo Kevin Sherwood for giving me an existential crisis while trying to explain a song from Call of Duty.

 

Anyway, what do you all think? Is there something I'm missing?

 

Also hey this is my 1001st post. One off and it could have been extra special, oh well.

 

 

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