Anguish EP Concept

The concept behind FRAKTIONS new EP ‘Anguish’ is about the final chapter of a schizophrenic woman’s life. Our protagonist, Sarah, suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, meaning she experiences aural hallucinations for most hours of the day if she does not take her prescribed medication.


The compositional aim is to transport the listener into the frantic and unpredictable mind of someone with schizophrenia. We invented a fictional series of events leading up to her unintentional suicide.

The EP takes the listener on a journey through multiple sound-worlds that portray her state of mind in each scene. The lyrics are largely from her perspective and occasionally from the perspective of the voices in her head.

We want people to understand that all creative thoughts are empathetic to those who suffer from the condition. Fortunately we will never truly understand what it’s like to be schizophrenic but we wanted our listeners to imagine the world through the eyes of someone who struggles to tell the real world and their surreal world apart.

Among people diagnosed with schizophrenia, an estimated 20% to 40% attempt suicide. From 5% to 13% actually complete the act of suicide. This statistic shocked me considering our recent medical advances. This was the stimulus for the creative vision behind Anguish.

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Illusion of Control
Illusion of Control is the first track on the EP and is inspired by the music of David Maxim Micic and Haitus Kaiyote. I chose chords with lots of harmonic tension. The descending major 9 #11 chord sequence is symbolic of her unstable mind. This piece of music is meant to represent Sarah’s facade that she presents to others. She is suffering greatly but tries to hide it from everyone in her life except her sister. Her sister is her carer and the only person who truly understands her condition. She feels isolated and invisible to everyone else.

Altercation focuses on the relationship between her and her sister. They have a loving argument as siblings do. Sarah expresses to her sister that she feels like a burden and wants her to leave their family home to pursue her career. The harmony is deliberately luscious to symbolise the enduring love between them.

Crippled by design.
Shadow of entropy.
Lucifer beckons me one step closer to the void.
Eternal visions of a reoccurring dream.

I am a burden draining the life from you.
I am a burden draining the life from you.
You are my anchor unable to pursue.
I am a burden. I must leave you unburdened.
The abyss that you pull me through.

I hide from the world but never you, you’re breaking through.
Oh what I’d give to be visible. I’m atypical.
Alienate, suffocate, we hallucinate together.
Lacerate, detonate, we hallucinate forever.

Freedom of the Conscious Mind
Sarah’s frustration with feeling sedated by her medication has been building for a long time. This song is symbolic of her transformation when she stops taking her medicine to control her schizophrenia. She ceases to feel subconscious and her mind is revived. At first she enjoys the sensation of being liberated from medication that tranquillises her mind however towards the end of the song she begins to experience aural hallucinations that cause her distress.

Awaken my soul. Relinquish control.
Abandon morality. Trapped within duality.

The Freedom of the Conscious Mind.
Deceptive voices intertwine.
Eternal nightmares plague and combine.
Oh sweet requiescence; I cast thee aside.
Forced into exile.

Awaken my soul. Relinquish control.
Abandon morality. Trapped within duality.

Floating, it beckons me closer.
Hypnotise me into the unknown.
Allow me to guide you into my world.

Keep your truth inside. Bury it deeper.
Liberated from the empty void.
How I crave lucidity.

Time to let the monsters out.

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The Event
The Event is the most experimental track we have released. It is crucial to the concept behind the EP. My aim was to create a cinematic soundscape in which the listener feels as if the are in the car with Sarah. The voices in her head encourage her to drive into a child that is crossing the road ahead of her. In a moment of weakness she gives in and slams the accelerator. After hitting the child she crashes her car. After her waking from her concussion she flees into the woods to escape the situation. I chose to rework the harmony of ‘Morning’ by Edvard Grieg with augmented major 7th chords. My goal was to transforming a piece of familiar pleasant classical music into a dark hypnotic loop that underscores the crash.

Sarah explores the woods in darkness. She is in a terrified and confused state of mind as she struggles to process what has just happened. She feels as if she is being watched by the creatures that inhabit the forest. She sees a figure beckon her from the distance. She follows the figure which instructs her to bury her son. Uncertain as to whether she has a child she frantically begins digging a grave with her bare hands. She realises that giving into the voices in her head cost a child their life and lies in despair contemplating suicide.

Clinging to my fading grasp of reality. Constantly falling in a perpetual cycle.
The forest knows my secret. Vultures eye up their prey.
Run and hide from the agents of atrocity.

A conscience infested by the dissonant mind.
To sink or drown. Nauseous from the vertigo.
Intrinsic is my lust for ignition.

A figure emerges, whispers gently in my ear: bury your son.
Please tell me I’m dreaming.
Bleeding hands of the gravedigger.
Temptation to pull the trigger.
Free me from the parasite.

I obeyed the commands of the shadows.
Swallowed by the soil I feel them crawling.
They’ve colonized my mind, I’m overpowered.
When will it end?

Foreign energy sedates my blood.
Slithering snake, why d’you laugh so violently?
Terror slits my thumping heart.
Why do your bones crack so seductively?

Sinking into quicksand. I gave into your twisted game.
Trees stare at me with green eyes of menace.
Prisoner of paranoia.

Whilst hiding from the police after running over a child, Sarah discovers a lake and experiences a rare moment of tranquility after her ordeal. She enjoys the peaceful nature that surrounds her and contemplates her existence with a clear mind. She gazes at the dragonflies in envy of the simplicity of their lives. Towards the end of Sanctuary (2:16) the figure that instructed her to bury her son reappears and beckons her into the water.

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The Difference Between Drowning and Sinking
In her penultimate moments she tries to make a final decision as to whether she deserves to live. If she can’t control the voices in her head telling her to harm innocent people then she feels like she’s a risk to others and she doesn’t want to live the rest of her existence on medication used to treat her schizophrenia. She steps into the lake accepting that to prevent the harm of others she must take her own life. First she allows herself to sink but then decides she is strong enough to control her own mind and wants to live. Tragically she has sunk too far and drowns. The last section is symbolic of her struggling to reach the surface.

Her original intention was to sink peacefully to the bottom of the lake and never return but a last minute change of heart caused her to fight for her life. She had already sank too far and was unable to save herself. This is the difference between drowning and sinking.

I confess to the ocean, a monumental epiphany.
A dark premonition my mind could not escape.

Get this insect out my head. Wiring malfunction.
Nothing more than damaged goods. My conscience fluctuates.
Fight it, we can always fight it back
But there will come a time, when everything else shatters
On a knife’s edge we will sway. One will betray.
Who will evade? Escape to the shade.

When will I crumble into pieces. Is it inevitable?
Both live in fear of their counterpart.
Are we deadlocked forever or is collapse inescapable?

Follow your heart, never your vile instinct.
Cling to all inner tranquility.
Reject the control of the depraved. Who have I become?
I can’t be saved.

Pull me out of this trench, I’ve dug for myself.
What is the difference between drowning and sinking?
So many lost pieces of a jigsaw I’m trying to build.
No end in sight, no hope for flight.
A broken mind of guilt.
There’s an insect in my head, pulling the strings.
I’m a ticking time-bomb, floating to the edge.
Suffocation, asphyxiation. The final salvation.
But if I can arise from this struggle I can do anything.

React, Evolve.
Collide, Betray.

Follow your heart but never your vile instinct.
Cling to all inner tranquility.
Reject the control of the depraved. Who have I become?
I can’t be saved.

This is the moment of collapse.

Our hope is that the concept adds depth to the lyrics and empowers the music. We want listeners to be able to enjoy the music without having to explore the concept but for those listeners who are interested there is lots of detail and symbolism to feast upon. If anyone truly connects with the concept we would encourage them to donate to Mind – an excellent mental health charity.

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