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Will we know when the end is near?

For Mackenzie's playlist ✨

By Alivia VarvelPublished about a month ago 3 min read

When Mackenzie Davis prompted us to find songs that make us truly stop, I immediately jumped at the chance to talk about my favorite song of all time.

The thing is, I've been in love with this song ever since it was released almost six years ago now. I will never be able to get enough of it. But something happened in the last year or so.

Maybe it's just a product of getting older. Or maybe I've become a little more self-aware. Maybe it's both, I really don't know. This song suddenly became the voice for all of my worries, my fears, and my ponderings.

About a year ago, I was a runner up in the Melodic Milestone Playlist Challenge, and one of the songs I included was this beauty:

Age of Man - Greta Van Fleet

See, music is this incredible thing that speaks to our souls in an almost mystical and mysterious way. It gives voice to things that otherwise stay wordless in our minds. This song does exactly that for me.

I will forever be grateful for that day when my dad randomly texted me asking if I knew of this band. I probably would have come across their music eventually, but who knows when that would have been. Greta Van Fleet has this amazing ability to create music about us - that is, mankind. This includes all its trials and tribulations as well as its triumphs.

"Age of Man" questions the cycle of generations coming up to accept the responsibility of...well, everything.

They pass the torch and it still burns

Once children then it's now our turn

Lyrics aside, this song sonically scratches my brain. It starts slow with bassist Sam Kiszka playing a synth-like string intro. I implore you to watch the live version they played at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. It has an extended intro with Sam bringing us in even slower into the song. (Guitarist Jake Kiszka also goes crazy at this particular show.)

Live at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Front man Josh Kiszka gives us his best vocals in this song, in my opinion. His voice is powerful even in the slow start. And by the time we get to the final chorus, his wails give me chills. If anyone is familiar with the phenomenon of frisson, this song gives me the most intense sensation of frisson.

Back to the lyrics, the chorus of this song is everything I have been thinking about since I've started having frequent existential crises. (Like I said, maybe this is just a product of getting older. What can I say? I'm in my 20s.)

Who is the wiser to help us steer?

And will we know when the end is near?

If you are chronically online like I am, you likely remember not too long ago when people were (somewhat) jokingly talking about how they constantly think about the Roman Empire. And if you're not chronically online, I unfortunately don't really know how to explain this to you. It's like trying to explain what a meme is to someone who's never been on social media.

My point is although I don't actually constantly think about the Roman Empire, I have been curious enough to do more research into how exactly it fell. Rome certainly wasn't built in a day, but it also wasn't disassembled in a day.

How slow was their downfall? What was the first sign? Were there groups who pushed for change when things were getting bad? What was the tipping point?

Did they know when the end was near?

There's a doomsday clock, right? It's been moved forward and backward many times since it was created in 1947. Yes, I realize it's just a metaphor and not a truly scientific prediction of global catastrophe. But what a fascinating picture. As of January 23, 2024, we are 90 seconds to midnight, whatever that means to you.

I can't help but think of what would need to take place in order to move it forward even more. How much more crisis and disaster is needed to push us over the edge?

Will we know when the end is near?

Alright, let's take a step back and come back to the present.

I invite you to really stop and listen to this song. Whether or not you get the same overwhelming feelings that I do, I hope you at least enjoy the classic rock sound this band is bringing back.


For Mackenzie Davis' music prompt:

song reviewsrockhumanitybands

About the Creator

Alivia Varvel

time is the most precious commodity

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Comments (1)

  • Mackenzie Davisabout a month ago

    I LOVE THIS BAND!!! I'm listening to this one asap because it's not ringing a bell in my head but I know I know it because I've listened to them on repeat the past several months, lol! My favorite of theirs is Heat Above. UGH, just gorgeous. I love that you wrote a whole article for this challenge thingy! I honestly didn't expect anyone to but thank you! I love getting insight into why people love their music. :DDD

Alivia VarvelWritten by Alivia Varvel

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