Scrawl from The Saw’s Butcher Shop: Knocked Loose — A Tear in the Fabric of Life (2021) HEAVY BREAKDOWN

Oldham County, Kentucky’s own Knocked Loose, released A Tear in the Fabric of Life on October 13, 2021, and it’s one of my favorite releases of 2021. I was going to do an EP review on it, but this release needs to have a heavy breakdown. This record is a concept EP and we all know how much I love records like this.

I have always been a fan of Knocked Loose. The first release I heard from them was their 2014 EP, Pop Culture. I listened to “All My Friends” first, and from that point forward, I’ve been a big fan of Knocked Loose. They combine elements of hardcore punk and metalcore. To me, their first EP, Pop Culture, had more of a hardcore sound. But their 2 full-length releases – Laugh Tracks (2016) and A Different Shade of Blue (2019) – and this EP have more of a metalcore sound.

One of my friends showed me this band in 2015 and said “go ahead and start listening to this band before they blow up.” Boy was he right. Knocked Loose hit the scene and spread like wildfire. Soon they began playing at festivals, headlining sold out shows (I’ve been to a few), and going on tour with Parkway Drive, Thy Art Is Murder, Every Time I Die, and Gojira.  

When A Tear in the Fabric of Life dropped, Bryan Garris (vocalist) went on Twitter and said:

“When the world shut down, we did what we do best. We got a cabin deep in the woods of Tennessee and wrote our most challenging record to date. A concept EP paired with an animated short film. This is the hardest I’ve ever worked on anything.”

He then tweeted a screenshot of a note which explains the lyrical content behind the album.

“Writing lyrics always comes with its natural challenged but this time it was a brand-new experience. I took myself way out of my comfort zone and set a goal for myself that I often questioned if I’d be able to achieve: To write a story that’s consistent and linear throughout the duration of the record… Through this project, I reached deep into myself and found so much personal trauma and grief to touch on. Through this story, I have included so much of myself that it has proved to be far more therapeutic than any Knocked Loose release so far… this has become my most honest piece of work yet.”

At the end of the note, he thanked the listeners who listen to heavy music and dive into the lyrical content of the project. He is very grateful that he is able to share a part of himself in this way.

As soon as I read both of those tweets, I knew I would need to take a deep dive into the true meaning behind A Tear in the Fabric of Life. Let’s begin…

The story behind the EP is the experience of losing a loved one and never being able to move on. Death and grief are the main themes and this can be seen in the lyrics. Since this record tells a story, it’s best to listen to it in order. Each song talks about the different stages of grief a man goes through when he loses the love of his life. An animated short film was created for the EP and it follows the storyline. It was really cool to have a visual aid while listening to the story. The film is awesome! It portrays the story perfectly and really gives you a good understanding of what’s going on.

The story is about a couple driving out during a storm and they crash into a tree, the woman died after the crash. It follows the man and how he is dealing with the accident. He feels extremely guilty and misses the woman dearly.

Chapter 1: “Where Light Divided the Holler”

The first song begins with an intro of a radio station flipping through different channels. You hear a car screeching it’s breaks and the song begins. The main idea in this song is a man holding his loved one as they soon pass away. The water carries her into the water and the man can hear an echo in his head of the woman saying “I told you so. We should’ve left before the storm.” He now has to live a life without the woman.

This song references the name of the EP, a Tear in the Fabric of Life, which I think alludes to life being fragile, like fabric.

Lyrics:

“Floating around the bend

Floating around the bend

Where light divides the holler

Body is merged between moss and stone

Where blood finds color

She dissolves in the bank and I’m left alone

Writhing in the clay (The water rises and sways)

Betray the human shape (The water takes you away)

Final embrace

Tangled in the vine

Shackled to the floor of the Earth

My vision restored

From the fog you emerge

Carriеd by standing water

We collide with shouldеr and steel

Sundered from your spirit lays your body

The sense of touch reminds me that it’s real

And from within you, I hear a whimper

A voice echoes in an empty form

Inside my head, you say I told you so

We should’ve left before the storm

A tear in the fabric of life

We have each other and that’s all we’ll ever need

I crawl out of the river

Shaking hands with blood underneath my nails

I am reborn in a life without you”

Chapter 2: God Knows

The man doesn’t know where to go from here. He feels like he is sinking by the loathe and guilt he is feeling, he’s crushed by the weight of terror. As he handed the woman to God and carved her name into stone, nothing remains of her. The man believes that God knows he belongs in hell, that’s why he left him here by himself.

Lyrics:

“Flashes of blood and bone

An empty vessel in between its home

It wraps around my feet

Pooling like wet cement, I sink

Clawing to get away

But every branch I hold onto breaks

Where do I go from here?

Panic sets in and I start to shake

Loathing

Crushed by the weight of the terror

All life reduced to stone

A beam of light pulls you above the ground

Out of the water through the parted clouds

All life reduced to stone

I am withering at thе helm

Suffocating, and overwhelmеd

I hand you to god

Carve your name

Everything burns

Nothing remains

We are gathered here today

Under the pressure of a weary gaze

Hydrate the garden

Decorate the grave

Lowered beneath the dirt

The trumpet toils for the blood I harvest

Flashes of blood and bone

An empty vessel in between its home

God knows I belong to hell

That’s why he left me here by myself

God Knows”

Chapter 3: Forced to Stay

The man can’t shake the thought of the accident. He finds himself back in the woods where the accident occurred. He feels as though he is stuck in this part of his life forever. He asks himself why he took a chance and gambled life. He can still hear the woman in his head telling him “I told you so.”

Lyrics:

“Bound to the trunk of a tree stretched out for miles

Cast a shadow on all I know of life

I can’t seem to shake the thought

The light is taken by the hearse

It’s a lesson never learned

Everyday is getting worse

I dissolve into the pain

Pour myself into the guilt

Hanging over me like skies of rain

All the blood that I have spilt

Carried you to heaven’s gate

I am forced to stay

A celebration

The finale of life

The marriage between

Soil and bride

The blood denies the rose

To carry only memories of loss

A vigil on the side of the road

Her body now belongs to the cross

I am judged and set on fire

At the stand falling deaf to their cries

The bleating of a hundred voices

In unison asking me why

Why did I take a chance and gamble life?

Every sign points me back to the dorm

In my head, you say “I told you so”

We should’ve left before the storm

The rain washes you away

The rain washes you away

The rain washes you away (Forced to stay)x3″

Chapter 4: Contorted in the Faille

When the man returns home, he hasn’t touched a thing in their house. He can see shadows of him and the woman on the walls and continue to hear the woman whisper sweet nothings to him. Months have passed since the accident and he feels like there is poison in his body. He slowly starts to think that all of this is in his head.

Lyrics:

“Abandoned by light

Swaying beneath the veil

Beyond the doubt of remission

Contorted in the faille

Whispering sweet nothings

Beneath a daze, mind consumed

Pulling me, your infectious hum

Asleep at the foot of your tomb

Dust settles on a broken frame

Inside our house, I haven’t touched a thing

Focused on corners where lights now fade

Watching shadows float on broken wings

Sirens pull me to you

Ringing through my ears

Months have passed but the winter stays

Cold embraced by fear

Poison trails down my throat like gasoline

Plants deep into my blood like roots

Sets fire to my memory

Burns all

Left destitute

I rot

Figures dancing in the blur

Seeing doubles I focus in

Feel the warm embrace of skin

Twist tongues, feel you in my throat

Collapse in the bed, held by your ghost

Caged by the thought of devotion

Solidified by the touch of death

In the dawn, I hear you crooning

Could this all be in my head?

Whispering sweet nothings

Beneath a daze, mind consumed

Pulling me, your infectious hum

Awaken at the foot of your tomb

Now all that is left

Is to remove the weight of the earth

Now all that is left

Is to remove the dirt that holds your ghost

I am with you now”

Chapter 5: Return to Passion

Back at the scene of the crash, he can hear the woman calling for him and begging to be returned to life. He believes that he can save the girl and begins to dig her out of the ground. He then hides the girl in his walls, while she rots.

This song gave me Edgar Allen Poe vibes!

Lyrics:

“From underground, I hear you calling

Clawing through the dirt return to life

(I can save you) Guided by the moon unto the grave

Dig

Dig

Everything will be okay

Force fed rebirth

Nurse your gored wings back to life

Death comes home

Light the candles just to mask the scent

Death comes home

Love resurrects

Back inside, I find myself again

The great return to passion

Back inside you

I lose myself

Hide you in my walls

Rotting”

Chapter 6: Permanent

The man in continuously suffering without the woman. He can still feel her presence and feels like he can’t last another day without her. He wants to be reunited with the woman, so he finds closure in its true and physical form.

I’m assuming that the man killed himself in order to be reunited with his love.

Lyrics:

“Suffering in this life without you

Permanent blue

Parted by death, reunited the same

Permanent blue

The final thread in the loom

If not to love, then to show

A mountain that towers over creation

Without a sun, there is no room to grow

Unfulfilled

In the presence of your figure

Your voice still echos from far away

The wind blows a familiar thrum

Faced with one more choice to make

Shepherd me

Through walls of stone

The wooded valley that you call home

Shepherd me

Teach me the blade

The only way our love is saved

Can’t last another day without you

Exercising every measure left

A spot for two in the womb of hell

An apology, my final breath

Suffering in this life without you

Permanent blue

Parted by death, reunited the same

Permanent blue

Closure in a physical form

Reject the hand of the devout

When I saw the ghost was you

All the lights went out

Permanent blue”

The film for this record is awesome! It shows the man’s guilt as a dark demonic figure following his every move. It really gives you a great representation of how the man is dealing with his loss.

Musically, this EP is awesome!! The riffs in each song are killer and gives the sound of the record a dark and eerie vibe.

I am really impressed with this release and it has made my 2021 AOTY list a lot harder.

Rating: 10/10

Stay Metal,

THE SAW