Ego Likeness is a Darkwave/Industrial Rock band from Baltimore, Maryland. It was formed in 1999 by Steven Archer and Donna Lynch, the same year as their marriage.
Their music is darkly atmospheric, often lyrically at the cynical end of Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, while their songs refer to subjects from sources such as Classical Mythology, Abrahamic religions, horror films, and science-fiction literature. After all, they did take their name from Dune.
- Songs From A Dead City (Demo 1999 and re-released in 2018)
- Dragonfly (2000 and re-released in 2012)
- Water To The Dead (2004)
- Order Of The Reptile (2006)
- Breedless (2010)
- When The Wolves Return (2015)
The Compass series of Extended Plays
- South (2007)
- West (2008)
- North (2009)
- East (2012)
- The Lowest Place On Earth (2008)
- Treacherous Thing (2012)
- New Legion (2015)
In addition to their music, Steven is a painter and Donna a novelist and poet. Their website is here.
Tropes relating to Ego Likeness:
- The Anti-Nihilist: "Save Your Serpent...---..." encourages this attitude:Build no temple
What you came from
Who you are
And you're owed nothing
Just feel lucky
To leave a trace of who you are.
- Animal Motif: Wolves are mentioned throughout their discography and are portrayed as both violent beasts and noble creatures.
- Birds in "Aviary."
- A sillier version, both designs of their "Garbage Witch" shirts prominently feature opossums.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: From the chorus of "Burn Witch Burn": "You've connived and deceived and learned how to read."
- Bookends: The first and last songs from Dragonfly end with "Does that answer your question?" *
- Burn the Witch!: "Burn Witch Burn," of course.
- Cover Version: Of "Afterhours," "Tea In The Sahara," "Down by the Water," and "Drive."
- Crapsack World: "Funny Olde World," "Song For Samael," and "Burn Witch Burn" all depict the world this way.
- Dark Wave/Industrial: They skim the borders between the two.
- Determinator: "Raise Your Red Flags":Burn your white flags
Refuse to surrender
Then raise your red flags
- The Dog Bites Back: "16 Miles" is about a woman who flees after killing her abusive husband.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: A non-aggressive example in "When the Wolves Return":I don't want pity
That would make it all about me.
- Dragonfly Of Transformation: The album Dragonfly has an overarching theme of personal rebirth.
- Feminist Fantasy: "New Legion" is a feminist Dark Fantasy, with the first verse on the exploitation of women, and the second verse calls on various female monsters to punish the wrong-doers.
- Feathered Fiend: Birds are a very sinister symbol in "Aviary".
In come the vultures / Through dusty air / To take you down and / Tear the ribbons from your hair.
- Circling Vultures: The first verse...
In come the blackbirds / In murders and in droves / To cover you in shadow / As they clean you to the bone.
- Creepy Crows: The third verse...
And here I come, the firebird / Don't offer up your sorrow / Today you see me crash and burn / But I'll be back tomorrow.
- The Phoenix: The fourth verse...
- Handicapped Badass: A large part of both Donna's and Steven's work, Ego Likeness included, is inspired by their lived experience of having ADHD and mood disorders, respectively.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: They get a lot of mileage out of this trope.
- Instrumentals: "Oceans and Bridges."
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Released the digital Sophie EP as a sign of gratitude to those who helped them pay for their hairless cat Sophie's vet bills.
- Lighter and Softer: "Funny Olde World" is a (relatively) up-beat song for them.
- Location Theme Naming: The Compass EPs are named for the cardinal directions.
- The Lost Lenore: A particularly disturbing example in "I'm Not Mary Ann."
- Mystical White Hair: Donna's bleached white hair deliberately invokes this image.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Likewise, Donna invokes this in the "Treacherous Thing" and "New Legion" videos.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Donna frequently wears corsets live and also on the cover of Breedless.
- One-Woman Wail: "Aurora."
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: In the "Treacherous Thing" video, Donna is the red and Steven is the blue.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: "Save Your Serpent...---..." is aversion. Snakes here are a symbol of Existentialism.
It would seem you're just a snake / With an angel's heart.
- Subverted again in "Funny Olde World," here referring to a certain angel who did not so much fall as saunter vaguely downwards:
- Shout-Out: Their name is one to Dune, as is their album and song Water to the Dead.
- One of the b-side is called "I'm Not Mary Ann."
- "Funny Olde World" as in "It'd be a funny old[e] world, he reflected, if demons went round trusting one another."
- Likewise, "You'd Better Leave the Stars Alone" is about Stardust.
- "Leave a Light On, Thomas" takes its name from a quote in The Prophecy.
- The Something Song: "Song to the Divine" and "Song for Samael."
- Stockholm Syndrome: "I'm Not Mary Ann."
- Surreal Music Video: "Treacherous Thing" has one.
- Tears of Blood: Donna in "Treacherous Thing" bleeds from her Black Eyes of Evil, coupled with a Slasher Smile.