Despair Event Horizon: Music

  • The entire genres of Funeral Doom and Depressive Black Metal revolve around this trope.
    • And for a band that combines both styles, there's Elysian Blaze.
  • The Beach Boys: The album cover of Surf's Up is based on the statue "End Of The Trail" (1915) by James Earle Fraser, which shows an exhausted Native American horseman, symbolizing how their struggle for their land from the white man's greed was over. This also ties in with the environmental messages on the album.
  • The Beatles' "Yer Blues" from The White Album. Lennon made it deliberately over-the-top so that no one would take it seriously, but later confessed that he meant it at least halfway in earnest anyway.
    Feel so suicidal, just like Dylan's "Mr. Jones".
  • The title track from Black Sabbath's Paranoid.
  • "The Mercy Seat" by Nick Cave is about a man sentenced to death on the electric chair.
  • Celldweller: "So Long Sentiment" describes someone trapped in his own depression, recalling old memories and begging for release.
  • Many country and western songs, especially Johnny Cash's songs "Folsom Prison Blues," which is about a man sentenced to life imprisonment and "25 Minutes to Go," about a man who is about to be hanged.
  • The Cure's "A Forest" from Seventeen Seconds
    The goal is never there, it's always the same
  • "Exitus" by E Nomine.
  • "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz from Demon Days.
  • The Message by Grand Master Flash And The Furious Five; all the lyrics of "The Message" are full of despair.
  • "21 Guns" by Green Day.
  • "Square One" by Interface:
    When the hope has gone away
    When the night has taken hold
    Emotions are no comfort
    No shelter from the rain
    Denied what has been offered
    An empty hand once more
    Gaining only to lose again
    This has all met its end
    Left here with more broken dreams
    No desire to begin again
  • Many of David Gray's songs are either written from the other side of the horizon or are about trying to keep from crossing it, in particular "Holding On".
  • "Dance with the Devil", by Immortal Technique. The protagonist rape a random woman in a dark street to be deemed "worthy" to integrate a gang, then is asked to shoot her as witness. It's his own mother... And they suddenly recognize each other.
  • Billie Holiday had a tragic life where she was the victim of rape at age 11, teenage prostitution, abusive partners and severe alcohol, morphine and heroin addiction. All it culminated in her world-weary Magnum Opus Lady In Satin, where she sings about break-ups, unrequited love and all hardships of relationships in her drug-ravaged voice. Only a year after recording this album she would die from liver cirrhosis.
  • A few Iron Maiden tracks. Specially "For the Greater Good of God".
    • Their song "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is their most notorious example, telling the story of a prisoner in death row who is just hours away from his execution; he is at first calm and rationalizing about the upcoming ordeal, but as the song progresses he starts to slowly fall apart until he breaks and starts crying, realizing that he is afraid to die after all.
    Tears fall but why am I crying?
    After all I'm not afraid of dying.
    Don't I believe that there never is an end?
  • Jethro Tull's song "Locomotive Breath" from Aqualung is about a man who has just crossed the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Joy Division's Closer, especially the song "Heart and Soul". This is one of the most infamous examples in music because singer Ian Curtis committed suicide shortly after the album was recorded. The lyrics almost read like a suicide note.
    Existence, well what does it matter?
  • The song portion of King Crimson's "Starless".
  • In Leann Rhyme's song "How Do I Live" she implies that ever her lover ever left she would cross the Despair Event Horizon
  • "Fade to Black" by Metallica is about a man who has lost the will to live. At the end of the song, he commits suicide.
  • Roger Miller's "One Dying and a Burying": One man contemplates suicide to forget the pain of lost love.
  • Virtually all of Nirvana's songs stay at the despair event horizon.
  • "Scarsick" by Pain of Salvation follows a man who grows increasingly frustrated by the various facets of modern society shown to him through television. Eventually, he decides he's had enough and jumps off the roof of a building in an attempt to shock the people around him back to their senses... whether or not this works is left up to the listener.
  • "Cemetery Gates" by Pantera is told from the perspective of a man who is going through a despair event horizon following the death of the woman he loved. For most of the song he is lamenting his loss, and in the final verse he is actually contemplating suicide so he can join her in the afterlife.
  • "Black" by Pearl Jam, as well as "Jeremy" from 10.
  • The Wall by Pink Floyd is just one colossal DEH; the entire album is about a rock star who is constantly hurt within his life, and the mental "Wall" he builds between himself and society. Summed up in the aptly titled 'Goodbye Cruel World', as Pink is having a mental breakdown and going catatonic:
    Goodbye cruel world,
    I'm leaving you today.
    Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.
    Goodbye, all you people,
    There's nothing you can say
    To make me change my mind.
    Goodbye.
  • The singer's character in Project Pitchfork's "Lament" has apparently crossed this line after being jilted (or his love interest dying, depending on how it is interpreted), and is preparing to off himself. "I lay down here, forever to sleep".
  • Dummy by Portishead
    • "Biscuit"
    I'll never fall in love again, it's all over now.
    • "Glory Box"
    I'm so tired of playing
    Playing with this bow and arrow
    Gonna give my heart away
    Leave it to the other girls to play
    For I've been a temptress too long
  • The Protomen: both Protoman and Dr Light cross this when the Robot Masters drag Proto Man down. Mega Man crosses it when he kills Protoman and discovers how pathetic and self-serving the people he was trying to save were. As a general rule, anyone heroic will either die or cross this particular threshold, maybe both.
  • Radiohead practically made a career out of this.
  • Rammstein's song "Wo Bist Du" has the narrator crossing the Despair Event Horizon after the death of loved one.
  • Supertramp enjoys these. "Lord, is it mine?", "Rudy" (arguably), and "If everyone was listening are about someone who's on the edge of that horizon, and in danger of going over".
  • The Lost Christmas Eve by Trans-Siberian Orchestra tells the story of a kind, happy man who has pretty much the perfect life. When his wife goes into childbirth on Christmas she dies due to complications, and he also learns that his newborn son suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen and will probably never learn to walk or talk. This causes the man to go through a major despair event horizon. After raging against the heavens he gives his son over to the care of a state-run hospital, and spends the next forty years as a bitter, broken man who hates Christmas.
  • Van Der Graaf Generator's "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers" seems to be the self-narration of a man who cross the horizon, and then commits suicide.
  • "Waffle House" by David Wilcox portrays the titular Real Life restaurant as a haven designed to help its employees cope with whatever depressing event they're dealing with (be it heartbreak, or highway, or some altered state) and stop them from crossing the DEH.
    When it's time that we slow up
    We wrap both our hands around our cup
    And stay until the feeling goes
    As long as there's broken hearts and dreams
    And all of this highway in between
    The Waffle House will never close
  • The Waterboys has Red Army Blues, telling the story of a soldier in the Soviet Army, who was forced over the DEH after the war because his entire unit was sent to Siberia.
    Used to love my country
    Used to be so young.
    Used to believe that life was
    the best song ever sung.
    I would have died for my country
    in 1945
    But now only one thing remains....
    The brute will to survive!