Metal Utopia is proud to bring a new segment to website; lyric analysis! Lyrics are just as much apart of this music as drums, guitars, and bass. With this, we hope to bring different points to ponder on lyrics from songs known and loved or perhaps unheard and mysterious.
Disclaimer: these interpretations are those of the writer and do not reflect the intentions of the lyricist. If you would like to contribute to the conversation or offer a different point of view, feel free to comment or contact Metal Utopia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Beauty In Falling Leaves” would be more accurately described as a sonic painting than a song. Not only is the music gorgeous, the lyrics paint a colorful world that explores the vastness of imagination.
As a quick background, the album this comes from—Our Raw Heart—was written after lead vocalist and guitarist, Mike Sheidt, went through a series of medical issues that nearly killed him several times. He clearly survived but the event impacted him and shifted his perspective of life. Our Raw Heart is the direct response to this period in his life.
As leaves fleeting fall from above
Under skies ever here
Darkness comes to the door
Table place set before its honored seat
The chase has come and gone
Yearning to be let go
Colors in the mirror
Better still, to inform
Skies ever here
These lyrics are colorful. Not in the sense of verbal profanity or uncomfortable topics, but actual color. Just within the opening line “As leaves fleeting fall from above/Under skies ever here”, there are two contrasting colors. Already I’m imagining a forest in fall, the contrast of the orange leaves and blue sky. Fast forward to the second verse and we have “As seasons come here to rest/Lilting rays aglow/Obsidian flow/Fire hewn within the stone.” This ‘forest’ in my mind has now expanded with these other shades; with the line ‘lilting rays’ I think of sun rays and yellow, obsidian is a smooth black, and fire is an orange-red color contrasted with the gray of stones. The lyric “Colors in the mirror” immediately take me to a lake somewhere in the mountains, where the surface so still that it is reflecting the unknown landscape. It is a visual image without being specific.
As seasons come here to rest
Lilting rays aglow
Fire hewn within the stone
Life that has come before
Looming fears of the wilt
Shadows at the door
Colors in the mirror
Been this way throughout my life
Been this way throughout time
Your heart brings me home
While I have spent some focus on the color that these lyrics describe, the chorus acts as a reminder that something as simple as beautiful scenery hasn’t always been appreciated. Shiedt really opens about himself with this simple yet elegant chorus. “Been this way throughout my life/Been this way throughout time” could refer to a multitude of things; anything from going to fast and never slowing down to appreciate what’s around, or it could signify that he has lost his way and needs to reconnect with reality. This is incredibly personal to Sheidt but is written in such a way that everyone can apply their own interpretation to it.
Lifting off, renewed
Astral form in flight
Enthrall every hue
Unknown to our eyes
Every cell of being
Outside of mind
Mantra not apart
From ineffable heart
Earlier, I said that I imagined I was in a forest, but these lyrics in the bridge change that a little. “Lifting off, renewed/Astral form in flight” imply that this is a spiritual journey and this ‘forest’ that I’ve been imagining has now become something mystical. Followed by the lines “Enthrall every hue/Unknown to our eyes” only adds to this wonder. Trying to imagine colors that we’ve never seen before seems impossible, yet plausible in this magical place. This ties back into what I’ve been saying about this being a colorful song. Lines like these paint this incredibly visceral image. With these words, it becomes easier to imagine the place that Sheidt has been trying to describe.
Endless worlds in endless mind
Caught in dreams of our own design
Dressed and groomed tradition dead
All around you the infinite
The final lyrics of the song are my favorite. The beautiful colors, the astral form, the vibrant imagery, all within the unending bounds of the mind. I won’t begin to try and assume what this means to Sheidt and why he wrote it, but for me, it’s given me a new perspective. Throughout this song, it has painted this awe-inspiring image that is rich with hues and endless in nature. When Sheidt eventually reveals that it is all within the mind and is, in fact, the infinite, that is breathtaking. Even though I know that I’ve been imagining this, the realization that the mind can generate something this surreal is astounding.
Beauty in falling leaves
The final line is the only time that the title of the song is ever sung. Because of that, and the fact that it is the last line, means that there is a lot of weight on these words. One of the biggest revelations is to realize that this entire realm that Sheidt has been describing has come from the very simple act of leaves falling from a tree. This is alluded to in the opening line “As leaves fleeting fall from above”, which brings this song back to the beginning.
This song truly displays the brilliance of the lyricism of Sheidt. To start with something small, then gradually expand it to the neverending reaches of the imagination, and then bring it right back to where it all started continues to blow my mind. It isn’t hard to realize that this song contains some very personal tones and describes a life-changing event for Mike Sheidt. That in and of itself is always difficult to convey, but I find that the use of visual imagery and color shows a different and unique approach to lyrics. It’s easy to get lost in trying to find hidden meanings in situations like these, but sometimes even we need to find the beauty in simple things.
Starting his musical journey with Rush, Spenser has become an avid fan of metal and drumming. Other hobbies include reading and audio engineering. He can often be found reading some sort of fantasy novel.