The origins of the many masks Ogre's donned over the decades can perhaps be found under the stairs of the Ogilvie household in Calgary, where young Kevin holed up in the company of Syd Barrett, Alice Cooper, and Les Chants de Maldoror. In fact, the album's artwork appears to allude this. On one hand, close-up images of a refinery's bowels juxtaposed with snow-capped peaks could simply be read as opposites, the murky innards of man contrasted with his soaring ambition. One the other hand, they could be read as geographical markers of a youth spent in Alberta, where the Rockies are the sole redeeming feature of a province dominated by oil production.
My voice sounds like shit, Ogre declares in the flamboyant opening track. Not only explaining why he's obscured his voice for a quarter of a century, but also the title of an early demo by Skinny Puppy – the pioneering act he co-founded. From the very start Ogre didn't perceive himself as a vocalist proper. Ironically, now that his vocal style has become de rigueur for the majority of industrial rock vocalists, Ogre finally seems comfortable with – or has perhaps simply accepted – the sound of his own voice, relying somewhat less on gadgets and effects than in the past. Hence, this comment on his vocal abilities is no longer an indictment but an incantation, a first step in the exorcism that follows.
We've only just begun (Moseley drones,) and me left-handed/you fresh off the farm/smelling of buttercups/and ancient lace/Let's bop 'til we drop/then drag ourselves to Denny's/for the midnite menue/We've only just begun/this vegetarian pact/this life without cigarettes/maybe tonite we'll smoke the bacon/for old times sake/and maybe tomorrow/I'll get a job.