"The Attic" as written by Bjorn Gelotte and Anders Friden....
There is someone in the attic
Building a strange machine
Never really seen him
But I think he works all day

Blinded by the world outside
I stay inside
Hardly know my name
But it's getting better by time

I saw something in the mirror

Someone's watching me
If I hide in the attic
He will never get to me

I found some rope on the floor
I have to build a trap
So I started on my machine
I have never to be seen

Lyrics submitted by Gromle, edited by MissFailCookie

"The Attic" as written by Bjorn Gelotte Anders Friden

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Attic song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI have loved In Flames for there sound for a long while... I love the sharp changes they have from heavy to a light melody, one minute they're screaming, the next is almost a whisper. A lot of their songs have really either moved me or got my adrenaline pumping, and I absolutely love their style of lyrics, which usually seem more cryptic than anything else...

    That said, the first time I heard this song, I loved the sound... The second time I heard it, it made me think about the lyrics... The third time I heard it, it chilled me to the bone.

    I totally agree that it's about someone with severe mental illness, who has thus confined himself to his home and can't function in society... His apparent split personality seems to be utterly obsessed with whatever the mysterious 'strange machine' is, which is probably a metaphor, or a manifestation of his delusions... Or maybe he really is building some strange machine, who knows.

    The part about the rope and a trap... Well, that's the part that really chilled me when I thought about it, and almost moved me to tears when I further thought about it... The only thing that comes to mind given the context, is that he hung himself to escape the delusions that plagued him. Reality is only an illusion after all, and it's shaped solely around your perceptions... So if those perceptions are detached from what's actually going on around you... Then anything goes... It would be like living in a nightmare, when all you want is to wake up, and when you can't, you end up at the 'last resort'. That and both of his personalities seemed to regard the other as foreign, when in fact they were of the same mind.

    This song is haunting, mysterious, yet seems to draw directly from real world issues with insanity, something suffered by some but completely written off by society... And I don't mean 'mental illness' or unbalanced like half the damn world is, I mean the truly tormentingly insane, the sort that I think this song perfectly illustrates.

    I almost never say this about music in our modern culture, and I certainly don't say this lightly, but this song truly strikes me as genius. I don't know if that's what In Flames was going for or not, but the thoughts I've had after reflecting on it have definitely broadened my perspective in a way that doesn't normally occur when reflecting on the work of ordinary minded people. Yet it's simple and eloquently put, short but profound... And very chilling. I don't think I'll ever think of one of those cases you hear about the same again, the ones where someone who was out of their minds committed suicide to end it all.

    Or maybe I'm just reading into it too deeply... But either way... This song is amazing.
    snowfox7on September 13, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think Pezable is the most accurate so far.

    When I heard this, I saw multiple metaphors. I think it's about someone who sees nothing great about the world and wants nothing to do with it anymore. The "machine/rope/trap" is his plan to further himself away from the world. Yet, at the same time, he said it's getting better by time and the part "I saw something in the mirror, Someone is watching me, If I hide in the attic, They will never get to me" can metaphorically mean that he still has hope to change and can be convinced that things are ok and will be better, but in the end, it's not what he really wants or feels.
    iDweavon November 14, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song is pretty cool. It seems like the character has multiple personalities; the first sees the second building a machine, while the second sees the first so he has to build a trap/machine. Seems like he's trapped in his own mind.
    metalhead44on June 21, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSeems to be multiple personalities, but they are both unknown to each other as if they don't even recognize their/its own reflection and they are scared of each other. But when one "traps" the other is when it will all end.
    forever smackedon July 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's an endless loop of dream in a dream.

    Look at the final verse:

    I found some rope on the floor
    I have to build a trap
    [b]So I started on my machine[/b]
    I have never to be seen
    tbaldenon November 12, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationWell, Anders himself never wanted to explain this song and I think he was right. Song is meant to be understood by each individual differently.

    My view on this song is that he is talking about his own mind.
    Since word attic is used, we can take that as comparation with mind (structure of house=structure of person --> attic under roof, mind under top of head)

    It means he is lost in his own mind. Constantly thinking about something, yet he doesn't understand it. Due to confusing world outside he prefers to stay alone with his mind. He sees his outer image of himself, but he doesn't even recognize it. As a solution he sees closing himself from other people.

    Despite that rope is a symbol for suicide, he doesn't use it as such, but he use it as a metaphore. He wants to build some kind of mind trap to protect him from the sorroundings which he finds distant and strange.
    15kolon June 06, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song does sound like multiple depression/insanity even though he doesn't really see anyone in the attic he just knows there's someone up there who is actually him, he doesn't go outside anymore because the world is too much, hardly gets called his own name (im thinking cruel names and teases ya' know kids stuff) he looks in the mirror and sees what he has become and doesn't like it. he finds some rope on the floor for a "Trap" which is probably to rid himself of the thing he has become and does and therefore "Never to be seen" he has hung himself X_X
    DrunkenWinteron July 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGoing off the lyrics, it seems to be about a man who is having split personality/schizophrenia issues that eventually kills himself. Although, it could be about a person who is possessed as well.

    Im guessing "the attic" is a metaphor for his mind

    There is someone in the attic (theres someone in my mind)
    Building a strange machine (doing something strange)
    Never really seen him (i've never seen him)
    But I think he works all day (but he's always there)

    Blinded by the world outside (im tired of the world)
    I stay inside (ive become secluded)
    Hardly know my name (im forgetting who I really am)
    But it's getting better by time (delusion is a good feeling though)

    I saw something in the mirror (i saw the other me)
    Someone's watching me (he's watching me)
    If I hide in the attic (if i pretend he doesnt exist)
    He will never get to me (he wont get me)

    I found some rope on the floor (I found rope on the floor)
    I have to build a trap (im going to get him)
    So I started on my machine (i started my plan)
    I am never to be seen (and killed myself)
    coleman132002on September 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationSeems like a metaphor about an outcast person, or people of today in general - isolated and distrustful of others. Perhaps the one speaking in the song is deliberately isolated because the world around him is like that and he maybe uses the rope and the machine as means of keeping him self further away from others, who ever they might be - cold and distrustful....
    Altegoreon September 27, 2012   Link

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