"Lethargica" as written by and Fredrik/kidman Thordendal....
The void clenches its determined jaws
A lethargic, careless motion to kill
Monstrous, prodigious, indifferent
Slow and deliberate its torturous skills

Its molars grind and shatter
Onerous, leaden bringers of hurt
Unhurried in its deadly intent
The undoer of all, dense and inert

Its design perfected through aeon's
Pure, immaculate, clean, homicidal god-machine

Calm, precise ambition
Untroubled by the roar of unending screams,
The droning blare of absolute doom
The down-pitched moan of collapsing dreams

Composed, cold, unconditional
Uncompromising till all is death
Extinction, ruin, its malicious cause
Till the last exhalation of human breath


Lyrics submitted by nufy8

"Lethargica" as written by Jens Kidman Fredrik Thordendal

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Lethargica song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThe protagonist suffered physical death in bleed, now his soul is tortured, by the veiled god behind the machine-like nature of humanity. He is punished for his enlightenment in Combustion, and destroyed, erased, improved, possibly by the guy on the cover.
    GinkoSanon January 04, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about time...it's a description of time, I think.
    Cyningon March 28, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningPeople have speculated that this song is about death, but that seems an unnecessary assessment. The thing in this song is what /causes/ death; how do we arrive at the notion therefore that it is death? Likewise time, monsters, and psychopaths have all been suggested, each one fitting a certain aspect of the song, but never all of it at once.

    And so I've arrived at the notion that the undoer in this song is entropy. It is the "omnicidal" bringer of death and ruin on every scale of existence. It is "pure, immaculate, clean." It's "cold" and its rise is "unconditional". In the way that it is woven into the laws and very fabric of the universe it is god like. In its approach towards universal homogeneity it is the ultimate bringing of ruin, the true "undoer of all." It is "inert."

    Few other possibilities explain the title as clearly. The point of maximum entropy (the end to which all things move in a closed system) is the homogeneous point at which no energy is available for work. Sounds like a lethargic state of things, doesn't it?

    VainApocalypseon August 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationto me, this song is talking about the first word of the song, "void". It's about pure, empty, maddening nothingness. This sounds abstract, but again meshuggah is an abstract band. I think it could also be about "disfunction" in humans, evil, malice, and destruction in a broad sense. This is why it has "been perfected through aeons" because it is the darkness in human nature. It is very Eastern in its philosophy, and this cd Obzen is Eastern: the yin and yang, good and evil are permeated throughout the cd
    captaineothanon July 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationMy newest interpretation of this song - and this may sound strange - is that it is sort of a tribute to monstrosity in general, to pure indifference, whether this is manifested as nothingness, Cthulhu, entropy, or some other godlike force. It is fascinating and terrifying at the same time ("Monstrous, prodigious, indifferent..."). Also, encountering the limits of one's own competence might feel like an infinite void. From this one could infer that the only infinite power in life is nothingness. Thus, "nothing is all, all is contradiction", as they already sang on Catch 33.

    This is the "schizoreality warp" (again from Catch 33) that people refuse to accept, and because of this, they live in fantasies/simulacra of empowerment - a subject matter discussed extensively on obZen (the album). A pretense to the importance of self, meaning, or structured existence in general. Actually, in one way, the title of the album could refer to the delusional attempts at harmony in life against the infinite force of chaos/void. So on one level the album could be interpreted as exhibiting different mindsets and coping strategies when faced with this. Since most people can't handle the truth (to use a cliché), they live in the aforementioned illusions of permanence, structure, and harmony, regardless of the means to achieve and sustain them, and at any cost. Thus, perverted harmony, thus, obZen. A self-defeating logic, a catch 33, an impossibility at the heart of existence.

    Lethargica is starkly different from all the other songs on the album because it is almost strangely neutral in its tone towards its subject matter. I'm not sensing any bitterness or anger at an all-powerful nothingness, even though, of course, the song is cathartic. All I hear is an honest description of nothingness/monstrosity and its impact upon us, which is all that can be asked for. It's a strangely relaxing song, too (probably due to its hypnotic rhythms).
    marathon_81on September 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a Lovecraftian monster bent on destroying mankind. Whereas "This Spiteful Snake" is clearly a metaphor for reality, the Lethargica may be a representation of death. Then again, it could very well hold no greater metaphorical significance, and may simply be Meshuggah's Cthulhu à la Metallica's "The Thing That Should Not Be."
    nufy8on March 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor me, this track was the stand out for Obzen. It's tone is just as monstrous musically as it is lyrically - Certainly reminded me of the Nothing lp.
    Khaoson April 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf interpreted in a fictional way, I would also come to a Lovecraftian monster.
    If interpreted in a more realistic way I would come to some one being cold-blooded, or insane.
    Someone who has "Its design perfected through aeons
    Pure, immaculate, clean, omnicidal god/machine"
    Wich makes me think of someone insane because that person would interpret himself.
    And unstoppable in his way of thinking, because he already thinks hes divine.
    Such a person can only be stopped when killed.
    Thundermaneon April 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The downpitched moan of collapsing dreams".

    God, what a song! Don't you just love it when it goes quiet for twice as long as you exect it to and then goes really heavy? I live for this band. Lyrics just as apocalyptic as the music.
    filthybeaston June 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The downpitched moan of collapsing dreams".

    God, what a song! Don't you just love it when it goes quiet for twice as long as you exect it to and then goes really heavy? I live for this band. Lyrics just as apocalyptic as the music.
    filthybeaston June 03, 2008   Link

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