Flynn has been uncharacteristically coy about who or what the locusts repeatedly referenced here are, or who they're supposed to represent. Many metalheads have been left scratching their heads, bemused as to why they should care about some short-horned grasshoppers. But of course it's symbolic. Name another swarm of beings which come along and devour all the wealth you thought was yours. Yes, (un)naturally, the banksters ("Down they come, the swarm of locust/Skies above converge to choke us/Feast of souls consume the harvest/Young and old, suffer unto the locust"). As if to confirm that, Flynn tweeted his support for Occupy Wall Street a fortnight ago, hoping his music would "inspire you in your stand against mayor Bloomberg today".
|Machine Fucking Head! Machine Fucking Head! Machine Fucking Head!|
Locust then unleashes the full force of the metaphor, and uses vivid language to describe how "this plague is sent to erase us", over massive groove rhythms. This Is The End uses classically-inspired passages to accentuate the heaviness of the thrashing going on, alongside bellowed statements that: "This is the end of our respect denied/Stand with us or stand aside". On Darkness Within, the band stays just the right side of metalcore, before Flynn pledges his beating, bloody heart to music, his "saviour", and through that to us - the fans.
Finally, album closer Who We Are could hardly be a better anthem for the Occupiers that Flynn dedicated it to, complete with its militaristic beginning, children's choir interludes, and declarations that: "We are the young and young at heart/The strong and the brave that are destined to start/We are the change the world needs to see/Look in our eyes and see our belief". How appropriate that Unto The Locust was released in the same week that Zuccotti Park was renamed Liberty, and how appropriate that Flynn's indefatigable spirit has been shown by those defying police bullets and brutality in his home city this week.