Alter Locus

by Nivi

  • Streaming + Download

    Download includes the nine tracks below, instrumental versions of the nine tracks below, and three bonus covers. That's 21 tracks! Also, you get massive front and rear cover art so you can make a little box if you like.
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price




Stems available from

A concept album about Earth's first interstellar planetary colonisation mission. Features include: robots, optimism, cryogenics, death, pessimism, conflict, more death, more pessimism and an inconsistent mix of pianos and squarewaves.


released October 3, 2011

-- contributions
Matt Cullane - help writing Home
Anne Dawson - vocals in Home
David Dawson - writing and performing French Horn in Terrans
Chris Walden - Stones lyrics

Home speech readings and translations:
Anne Dawson - French
Brandon Huisman (Solidus [NL]) - Dutch
Dan Pearson (Hentropy) - Japanese

Landfall screams:
Matt Shoemaker
Nick Regelman
Anne Dawson

-- criticism

-- spectral tanks
Dan Champion
Sean Coffey
Piotr Cymbalski
Chris Delaney
Greenwood Studios
Michael Laing
Christine Manceaux-Panot
David Noel
Ashley Smith
Nicholas Smith
Carolyn Steven
Adriaan Struys
LynnAnn Thomas
Max Wylie
Michael Zimmerman



Track Name: Pyrrha, or: The Eventual Successful Conclusion of an Automated Mission to Find a Habitable Extrasolar Planet
years and years of flying
through a vacuous infinity
have finally paid off
there is a world in my vicinity

that might just be the thing
we have been hunting all along
it looks like heaven on the surface
i don't think anything could possibly go wrong

follow me my fellow robots
our mission is at an end
we'll call our masters
i've a planet we can recommend

it's beautiful and green
and it has everything a terran ever wanted
it's got rivers, plants and oceans
and nothing to offend
Track Name: Home, or: The Volunteers Consider Their Imminent Departure from Earth and a Future in an Impossibly Unfamiliar World
i'm leaving home
and there's no way that i am ever coming back
i'm leaving home
and there is nothing left to pack

i'm leaving home
i'm leaving everything familiar behind
i don't know what i will find

terra keeps on turning
but we can not survive
for we have not been earning
our right to stay alive

so in lieu of immortality
we burst into the sky
and free from terra's gravity
we fly

i'm leaving home
there's nothing left for me beneath this sky
i'm leaving home
and i can't wait to say goodbye

i'm leaving home
because the more we're pushed together
the more we push away
and i can't bear it
i can't stay

fauna unpredictable
and flora so bizarre
that our feeble terran minds can not relate

but understanding is no requisite
for coming as we are
we know that everything must bow before the great

pursuing our redundancy
and hoping for abundance
even advocates would say we're optimistic

but migrants of the past
whom we are hoping to outlast
only survived because they weren't so fatalistic

today marks the beginning of humanity's greatest endeavour
five thousand people will achieve an independence of a sort that has not been seen for millennia
those five thousand brave souls who dare venture from their homes represent a safeguard
a safeguard against humanity's greatest vulnerability
life on terra as we know it could end tomorrow
but there would still be hope
soon, we will breathe easy knowing that our lineage will carry on
out there
among the stars

we're going home
together we will make a brand new start
we're going home
and it is tearing us apart

we're going home
pyrrha's spoils are ours for the taking
and we will
every valley, every hill
Track Name: Devoid, or: Two Hundred Billion Stars, Five Thousand Migrants and One High-Velocity Cryogenic Storage Facility
we are drifting
drifting through the void
with nothing to avoid

we sleep
frozen both in temperature and time as we ascend
the arm that we extend

pyrrha may be hostile or unkind
opposed to what we've left behind
but we will fight what comes our way
for we intend to stay
Track Name: Stones, or: A Race of Perspicacious Autochthons Assess the Impositions Implied by the Arrival of Unbidden Company
a metal mass plummeted down to our world
a gift from above or a curse, who could say
just a glance at the shell and it all became clear
there was history to be written that day

noises and voices from inside were heard
and one side was torn off with a deafening bang
inside was a frightened an d fragile race
and they sang

there are countless stones in that sea in the sky
a secretive realm which we dreamt to pry
we humans have landed on one of these stars
and it’s ours

to the crater we moved, we were ready to greet
but hostility met us instead
they're frustrated their planet had someone to meet
they consider us better off dead

battle would lead to great losses to both
but we cannot abide the hatred they bring
if we take a step forward, there's no turning back
if we sing

there are countless stones in that sea in the sky
a secretive realm which we dream to pry
of thousands, they land on just one of these stars
oh, one of these stars
so why ours

if they push us to battle, we can't not react
so determined and cautious we'll ready our sting
we'll beleaguer the callous and alien threat
when we sing

there are countless stones in that sea in the sky
a secretive realm which we dream to pry
these creatures would land on but one of these stars
oh, one of these stars
and it’s ours
Track Name: C, or: Universal Limitations of Information Propagation and Their Effects on the Stranded Crew of a Crashed Interstellar Planetary Colonisation Expedition
see what you have done to us
we are so far away from home
we want to tell them what we've done

and c
see what you have done to us
we are a people far from people
and our people want to run

see what you have done to us
you are infusing us with fear
while we explore this new frontier

and c
see what you have done to us
you've taken everyone and everything
and made them disappear

back home, of course
all they know is that fifty years ago
we were still fifty years away
and still inbound

another fifty years
when you elect to let them know
and they begin to plan a rescue
we'll be long since in the ground

the same, applied inverted
we have families on earth
that we are fifty years away from
they have death where we see birth

and for those of them that loved the ones
who perished in the fall
it was already far too late
for death had long since claimed them all

you're fast
but you're not fast enough
to get us out this mess

yes you are fast
but just not fast enough
to send our SOS

and in the meantime
we will do our best
surviving in this land
and we will ask, in vain, of terra
send us help
this was not planned

effectively impossible
to live to hear replies
we would be isolated anyway
a century denies

for as we wait for the response
that will eventually arrive
we are still fighting for survival
we still fight to stay alive

back home we took for granted
the irrelevance of petty things like c
but now it matters
it's amazing how important it can be

you are the straw
you are the final complication
and the worst
you are nine
and we are cursed

(we're stuck here so)
we want to tell our homeworld
of our peril and our plight
but we have to sit and wait here
while you tiptoe through the night
there's creatures here that want to tear us
limb from twitching limb
and we are frightened both of them
and of the anarchy within
they told us that the first arrivals
always have it tough
so while we knew it would be taxing
what is left is not enough
Track Name: Fewer, or: A Heated Discussion Concerning Issues Relevant to the Short- and Long-Term Survival of the Remaining Thirty
tell them what we're waiting for
they have to know

tell them why we haven't done a thing
but sit and wait
while they're itching to go

there are things we have to do here
if we want this thing to thrive
if we want to see tomorrow
if we want to stay alive
but your total nonacceptance
means that we will not survive

decimation sucks
but decimation's not as bad as what's in store
we cannot win this war

'cause we are sitting ducks
and while we fight amongst ourselves those creatures watch
and wonder what we're for

nobody's coming to our aid
'cause no-one knows
your futile hope that you must quash
before it grows
no ship will come
there is no knight in shining armour on his way
we are alone
and we are fewer
we are fewer
we are fewer every day

what have we done to any end since we arrived

don't you see what i'm getting at

'they're just like us', you say
and i agree
they're just as capable of hate
as you and me
and given what we've done to them
it's hate that i foresee

decimation sucks
but if we don't act now, they'll make it so much more
we have to win this war

we are sitting ducks
but we can pull ourselves together and ignite
we'll bring this too their door

it is a cruel twist of fate that you're in charge
and as you fumble your command becomes mirage
we're letting go
you still have chances to redeem your lost authority
but we are losing faith and they are fewer
they are fewer
every day
Track Name: Marching, or: An Analysis of the Varied Motives and Reservations of Crew Members as they Undertake a Campaign that Can Not Possibly Succeed
marching, all together, all in sin
marching to a battle we can't win
the enemy we fear imposed on innocents in sight
the enemy we fear comes from within

terrified of pain and anguish, spirit wearing thin
terrified of what will now begin
the enemy we fear is not the enemy we fight
the enemy we fear comes from within

some of us take solace in unparalleled futility
some of us take solace in the jar
some of us are radiating infinite hostility
some of us are happy as we are

some of us, once pacifist, have turned against our ways
some of us, once warlike, turned to foam
some of us have been prepared and bloodthirsty for days
some of us just want to go back home

it's pitiful, it's angry, it's cathartic, it's a curse
irresistible, unstoppable, perverse
there's a part that's still resisting but it's drowning in the lie
we are twitching in the dirt before we die

Nivi recommends:

If you like Nivi, you may also like: