Indonesian Avant Garde Metal Band ‘Kekal’ Drops New Single ‘Speed Of God’


‘Speed Of God’, the 3th track for the upcoming 2018 Kekal album “Deeper Underground” is now released! It is available in digital audio platforms for download and streaming. More tracks will be released this year and until 2018, one at a time, as they become available.

The track can be streamed in the Soundcloud player below.

Discussion about the lyrics of the newest Kekal song ‘Speed of God’, the 3rd track being released for the upcoming 2018 full-length album “Deeper Underground”.

Below is an extensive/in-depth chat with producer/songwriter/lyricist Jeff regarding the topic on the song’s lyrics.

The lyrics ‘Speed of God’ seem to be quite personal to you, and it mentions God as well as spiritual resistance. What do you want to convey? What is “speed of God”, what does God mean to you, and what is “spiritual resistance”?

Well yes, it is one of the most personal lyrics I wrote for Kekal. It’s a spiritual statement to some extent. The title “Speed of God” is a wordplay to the term “godspeed”. But it’s more than just wishing myself a good luck. It tells more about a personal life’s journey through continuous soul-searching in the face of adversity. This “Speed of God” refers to what’s called the Divine time, in relation of our time as a human being. It’s part of an existential quest for our own understanding to life. I believe in sovereign God as the source of ever-evolving Universe (or even universes or Multiverse), with Earth as a small tiny dot within our Universe. To me, God is the source of our existence, the creative entity with force that is the behind the birth of zillions of stars and planets and their solar systems, including their respective dimensions such as time and space. And also their demise. But that process takes the timing that is way beyond our comprehension. If we postulate that the dimension of time is part of creation, alongside space and matter, then it’s illogical to put God within the constraint of our time. Our existence as human is finite, and we can only measure time with our own Earth-based measurement (one year being the Earth to revolve around the Sun once, and one day being the Earth to rotate completely in 360 degree). Our lifespan as a species is very short, 80 years at most, 100 or so years for some, 146 years for Mbah Gotho but that’s one in some billions. The Earth itself has existed for more than 4 billion years. So we can’t really put God’s timing into our limited perception of time as the standard whether or not God will really do something for us in our own time-frame. That’s quite selfish and also egocentric/self-centered. But, as humans, we need to admit that we like to see things our own way – that’s our tendency. When we see something that bugs us, such as evil or injustice in life, we wanted to put an end to that as soon as possible. Most of the time, we wish those things to end soon, and to see justice be done in the end. But that’s just because our conscience screams out, and we’re becoming impatient. On the other hand, rather than drowning ourselves into the sea of wishful thinking and use most of our energy waiting for justice (or karma, or whatever) be done but do nothing, it’s better to take action even in the smallest scale. That’s the moment we’ll see God’s work in the ‘microcosm’, through our actions and interactions to defend what is good, no matter how small they are. I see the importance in taking a stance, and to form resistance within our own capabilities, by using our talents and skills for better use than just being apathetic and “I don’t want to know or care” kind of mentality.

You also mention “anarchy” on the lyrics. Are you an anarchist? If so, would you care to explain a bit?

Yes, I am. I consider myself as a Christian anarchist. I oppose the concept of religion, including the so-called Christian religion of course. I am into the spiritual and philosophical sides of Christianity, by looking into and learning the lives of the early Christians during and around the Apostolic age (roughly around the first 150 years after the birth of Jesus). That was before the Roman empire’s ‘takeover’. Back then, there was no hierarchical pyramid of authority among them. No standardized dogma. The followers came from different ethnic groups and traditions throughout the region. The Apostles were considered leaders, but they practiced the so-called servant leadership, serving the whole community. And these early Christians gathered as communes in modest places of gathering, mostly homes. There are historical records about those practices. They were treated equally: men and women, merchants, slaves, people from various ethnic groups, all together as one group in each commune, called church. The church was not the building, nor the organization. Some of the followers with Jewish background still went to their temple as they kept their religion. But their communities had one thing in common: helping the poor & the weak in society by sharing wealth, eliminating social hierarchy (no class structure or caste), etc. The main reason they were heavily persecuted and many were killed by the Roman authority was, arguably, because of the fact they became a kind of “independent welfare agency”. Their practices were very much comparable to the present day social-anarchism, or socialism that’s voluntary and without the control of the state/governmental authority. Those characteristics were taken away once the Roman empire took over and made it into an official religion in the 4th Century. All we knew, from history, that the Roman empire back then started to impose an authoritarian, top-down hierarchical power structure to the church. Thus the church became an organized wing within the empire, with top-down hierarchy, and then they added standardized dogma and such and such in order to contain the masses, with the goal to make people obey the human authority, all to benefit the empire. Then the rest is corruption. In the context of religion, the spiritual side and philosophical side of any belief system will tarnish or diminish, and replaced by dogma as moral standard and ‘truth’ that is prone to distortions, because dogma is always meant to be transmitted top-down, from the authority to the obedient masses. I think blind obedience to dogma is very dangerous, as any critical thought has always been discouraged or even be damned.

Does anarchism contradict with your belief in the authority of God?

No, not at all. It depends on which concept of God you have in mind. For me, we cannot fathom God’s authority based on the perspective of our very limited constraints as human. I’d put the authority of God in the simple analogy of traffic lights at major intersections. Would you consider the traffic lights as authoritarian, and needed to be dismantled just because they make you stop for a minute or two against your will? Of course not. Traffic lights have a kind of ‘authority’ that is justified, because it creates a better flow of traffic and also to reduce collisions, and that kind of order is considered equal for the greater good: to maintain the balanced flow of traffic on all roads, not one particular road at the expense of others. I use this traffic lights analogy to explain about God’s order or authority, only that God is the creative and active entity behind the whole universal and natural order, from the order of planetary systems, to our biological cycles, to the process of creation of living beings through evolution. There’s mechanism to those, not just random. We can only find the puzzles and discover little by little through science, like the Quantum Mechanics, for example. The main problem is not the concept of God per-se or the belief in the existence of God, but being blindly submissive to religion, because in religion there’s always human authority creating and transporting the dogma. In the case of dogma, as I said before, truth is never being seek from the bottom as part of human’s existential quest, but instead it is being pushed from the top-down, from religious authority to you at the bottom end, most of the time with the idea of punishments on the side if you failed to obey it, so people would accept it based on fear of damnation. What’s dangerous, is that those in power, the human authority, would bash your head with their own version of truth as the only truth you need to get. That happens in religious practices, in which religious leaders place themselves above the masses, and some even call themselves messengers of God, or similar shit in the fascist fashion. It is hard to justify the legitimacy of human authority if it’s being imposed in such way, not only because human has limited or partial understanding of truth, human also has tendency to corrupt when it comes to power or authority. I see religion as a playground or tool of the elite establishment in order to brainwash people into submission. Religion is an easy door for propaganda to be delivered, also as the means of stupidification, in which science is discouraged.

What’s your inspiration in developing your understanding of christian anarchism?

Søren Kierkegaard is a very huge influence to me, personally, and that has reflected on my lyrics too for quite some time. My personal take on Anarchism has significant influence from Søren Kierkegaard too, which has some greater aspect of individual autonomy in order to seek the truth & the meaning of one’s life. In my opinion Kierkegaard is not only the father of existentialism, but arguably he’s also the so-called proto Christian anarchist of the ‘modern times’ (‘modern’ here is referring to the era after French Revolution). Of course, Kierkegaard lived before the term ‘anarchism’ was recognized and broadly used in the philosophical and socio-political contexts. Back then, the term ‘anarchy’ was just to refer to the absence of authority. It was before Leo Tolstoy brought pacifism in related to mainstream understanding of Christian Anarchism. Kierkegaard is a big influence in shaping my understanding of what is faith, what does it mean to myself and to others, and at the same time also for the freedom of thought, autonomy, and so on. And the fact that with his articles on newspaper before he died (compiled together under the book “Attack Upon Christendom”) in which he harshly criticized the corrupt church and the religious establishment, Kierkegaard gave another meaning to Anarchism. He was also against the merge between religion and state, and against authoritarian power of the religious leaders at that time (that cannot be questioned, let alone criticized). His works can be perceived as a liberation or enlightenment of thoughts in order to give life a meaning, including a liberation of self from the bondage of religion in related to the understanding of the existence of God and the purpose of life, both for oneself and socially as collective individuals. Certainly not revolving around obedience and ‘blind trust’ to human authority as most of the time practiced by people who are into religion.

So you’re saying that it’s important to distinguish between the concept of God and religion, as they are essentially different?

Yes that’s correct. The common perception is that people think once you believe in the existence of God, you are automatically religious, or the other way like if you don’t believe in religion then you’re somewhat an atheist. This is not true at all, and very misleading in my opinion. Let me tell you that there’s even the so-called ‘religious Atheism’. There are people who believe in Atheism in the same way as the belief in religion. Remember about the dogma that I explained earlier? People can also accept Atheism as a dogma, for example: you grew up in the family of atheists and you just follow the belief of your parents based on parental authority, because your parents told you there’s no God and you just accept it whatever it is without question.

How would you describe anarchism to someone that is not familiar with the term, who thinks of it as something violent like destroying properties or involving in riots?

To say that Anarchism means civil disorder is based on propaganda, mostly from the ruling authority, you know, to keep normal citizens away from adopting it, because Anarchism, by definition, is anti-authoritarian. The more people being anti-authoritarian, the more resistance towards the abuse of power done by those in the authority. That makes it harder for the authoritarian government to rule effectively, even in iron fist. The propaganda is there to depict anarchists as bringers of disorder, but I disagree. I would define Anarchism as a non-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian approach to self governing or self-managing. It is based on the word ‘anarchy’ meaning the absence of authority. So you’re part of the community, and no one is considered above you and no one is considered below you. Everybody is equal in essence, and in practice in terms of policy-making.

Kekal‘s latest album “Multilateral” is their official 10th full-length studio album that was made to celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary in August 2015. The recording process of the album took more than 2 years to complete. Musically, the album represents human emotions and inner expressions that cannot be bound and limited by genres. With “Multilateral,” Kekal delivers a greatly experimental yet accessible music that soothe the pain of your soul. The album features unorthodox instruments such as theremin, analog synthesizers, additive synthesis, electronic beats, vocoder, and vocaloid, as well as unorthodox production approach.

CD version is a Limited deluxe-edition Digipak. Released by Majemuk Records. It has 13 tracks total, including 2 bonus tracks ‘Heartbroken By Default’ and ‘The God Particle’.

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Audio ‘Speed Of God’

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