Light in the dark

Newest Twenty One Pilots album concludes dark storyline, brings light to industry


Photo via Instagram (@twentyonepilots)

Frontman Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun hold copies of their new album, “Scaled and Icy.” Released on Friday, their sixth studio album brings optimism to the music industry during dark times while concluding frontman Tyler Joseph’s intricate and detailed storyline that spans four albums.

“Scaled and Icy,” released last Friday, has already proven to be nothing like anything Twenty One Pilots has done before. 

With a continuation of their elaborately fabricated storyline of DEMA and an upbeat sound paired with unique lyrics, “Scaled and Icy” is an album of its own and the one thing the music industry needed during these trying times.

Starting with “Blurryface,” and being much more prevalent in “Trench,” frontman Tyler Joseph has created a detailed storyline, one that very well might be ending soon.

Some fans believe that “Scaled and Icy” is Joseph’s first steps toward concluding his narrative and conquering DEMA itself, partially because of the title of the album itself being an anagram that spells out “Clancy is dead.”

Some fans also have theorized that part of Joseph’s final conclusion is actually him being trapped inside DEMA and being held by the nine bishops that control the city.

Those nine bishops are the heads of the city. Representing depression along with a religion that symbolizes hopelessness, the bishops despise creativity and like to have control within their city. It seems as though they would do anything to control the people in the city as well as Joseph and drummer Josh Dun.

During the sixth track on “Scaled and Icy,” “Never Take It,” Joseph says, “They’re trying hard to weaponize you and I, we’ll never take it, they’re asking for a second try, you and I will never take it.” 

Given all that the world has experienced over the last year, the timing of this album’s release could not be better.”

— Staff Writer Joslyn Weber

The “they’re” in the verse is meant to reference the bishops and how they’re trying to weaponize and control both Joseph and Dun. The “second try” means that this is the bishops’ second try to take hold of Joseph and Dun, the first try being found in “Trench.”

In “The Outside,”  Joseph sings, “everybody up and down, they’re nodding, heads are moving up and down, you got it, everybody stand in line.” A popular theory is that Joseph is being forced by DEMA to get others to fall in line.

Bishops in DEMA tend to stray away from creativity and lean more toward authority and control. Even though Joseph strongly encourages creativity and expression, he is instead being made to tell people to follow authority, stand in line, and be like everyone else.

“No Chances” is quite possibly the most propaganda-ish song on this album. The intro features a chorus of dark voices singing, “We come for you, no chances,” most likely being the nine bishops coming to take people and their hope.

Joseph then sings in the chorus, “we got people on the way, we want you home in one piece now.” “No Chances,” is a song created by DEMA that forces Joseph to sing lyrics that seem friendly. However, when people read between the lines, it’s obvious that the bishops are trying to recapture people that have escaped.

Most people who are familiar with Twenty One Pilots know that most of their songs bring light to mental illnesses and what it’s like to live through depression, anxiety, and being alone with your thoughts. “Scaled and Icy” is like a beacon of hope within not only their fanbase but to anyone around the world. It also shows how much Joseph has grown out of depression and started to rebuild himself and his life.

Lots of people lost their footing and had to change their tracks in life.”

— Staff Writer Joslyn Weber

Given all that the world has experienced over the last year, the timing of this album’s release could not be better.

“Saturday,” the third single released in preparation for the album, is a song that centers around being lonely and stuck in solitude. In the first verse Joseph says, “Lose my sense a time or two, weeks feel like days… have you lost your footing too?” 

During quarantine, many people were forced to abandon their everyday habits and adapt to life inside without much interaction. Many times, it felt like the days either flew by or crawled slowly and mushed together. Lots of people lost their footing and had to change their tracks in life.

The bridge in “Never Take It” also relates to this concept. Joseph says, “The summer I watched the tube, I saw enough, taught myself to play the guitar, tearing it up.” Along with the spread of COVID-19, many life-changing world events were happening during the time of isolation in the United States. 

Joseph states that he had enough and was overwhelmed with all the negative events happening. So instead, he turned to music and taught himself to play the guitar, which eventually results in the song “Level of Concern.”

Being a multi-faceted album that brings hope to dark times while seemingly concluding Joseph’s intricate storyline spanning multiple albums, “Scaled and Icy” is nothing like the Twenty One Pilots fanbase has seen before.