Death comes for some people suddenly, and often far too soon. For others it waits at the end of a slow process of physical and mental decline, far later than some would wish.
In times greatly distant from our own the harshness and hardships of life, coupled with an inability to treat illnesses, caused people to age and diminish faster and die sooner. But even then, as well as now, it has often fallen to children to care for declining parents, past the point when the pleasures of companionship have vanished and only pain remains.
In many cultures at different times around the world the problems of aging were solved by the practice of senicide — the killing of the elderly. In some places the aged were expected to relieve the burdens on their clans by killing themselves. In others, they became the victims of ritual sacrifice.
It is said that in ancient Scandinavia “the practice consisted in elderly people throwing themselves, or being thrown, from precipices after becoming unable to take care of themselves or perform everyday tasks.” And that practice, as described by the Portuguese band Lacrau, is the subject of their debut album Axioma, which we’re premiering in full today on the eve of its release by Monumental Rex.