The song that I’ve chosen for my work is named “Winter of Souls”. A progressive metal band named Demons & Wizards performed it. This German band is a side project for Blind Guardian vocalist Hansi Kursch and Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer; it also featured onetime Iced Earth drummer Mark Prator. Demons & Wizards recorded a self-titled debut in 1999, with Schaffer also handling bass on the record (occasional lead guitar was contributed by guest Jim Morris).
Already available in Europe, the album was released in USA only by the middle of 2000. To give you a more clear understanding of the style and the type of lyrics Hansi Kursch writes, we will take a closer look on the “Blind Guardian” – Hansi’s original band. “Guardians” are mastering very specific themes – Middle Ages and Fantasy books. Their best album (according to several European and Japanese charts), “Nightfall in Middlearth, is based completely on the J. R. R. Tolkien’s book named “Silmarilion”. Unlike the same author’s “Lord of the Rings”, a book that gained international recognition before and now is popular once again because of the movie, “Silmarilion” is much complex and serious book.
I’ve chosen this particular song, first of all, because it is beautiful. In metal, music and performance are in highest priority along with lyrics, which is one of the main difference points between metal and modern “pop” music (also known as “MTV style”).
Second, this song is dealing with a mental problem that many of us have encountered, the problem of a sorrow about something that is lost forever. The problem of understanding something that is too late. If a person is in touch with his or her emotions, those are the very familiar problems.
Pearl Jam as a Counter-cultural Band The early '90s alt-rock rebellion, which spewed from the underground like a geyser and saved rock-n-roll from hair bands, exacted a serious toll. Band break-ups, career nosedives, sell-outs and drug abuse death are as much a legacy of that dramatic period as the music. Pearl Jam is still standing - arguably the only band from the age that still matters. "I'm ...
A song is written and performed in the good old tradition of German Metal. It combines a medieval minstrel song and lyrics, with pure progressive metal music. Together those two, un-connectable from the first sight, styles of performance, create a unique atmosphere in listeners’ minds. It has no foolish apocalypticism that is very often present in other, then German, metal band’s lyrics.
Today, at the era of humanism re-birth, or so-called “…. the final breakdown of civilian population into political and social conformity” is described by Espinoza Ray Prozac at his Internet site, which is dealing with the mental and ideological aspects of Metal history. Prozac continues: “Commerce had taken over, guided by humanism and oblivious, trivial thinking. Because of the inherent human tendency to overthrow any masters, two-faced behavior and opportunism prevailed.” This state of mind leads to the very straightforward lyrics that are dealing with the real problems and the real feelings. Metal songs about love and sex are almost impossible to find. The modern Heavy Metal is dealing with much more superior themes as friendship, honor, mental pain and the most important – the self-destruction of the human kind, if no actions will be taken in the nearest future. The article is comparing each era of Metal to ideology that occupied minds at that particular period. The present days are called “Transcendent”, and the today’s Metal bands are described this way: “Their ideology merges the naturalistic with the dogmatic and aims for personal transcendence in achievement and exclusion from the horde.”(E. R. Prozac).
It would be easier to understand, if to define those statements as “…modern humanism and controlled egoism.” (A. S. La-Vey).
The structure of the song is very difficult to analyze, because it actually brings us into the thoughts of a person. We can find there a contradiction of feelings, doubts and submission to the fate. We are probably taken back in time to some Middle Ages legend or a story , that may be unknown to the majority. I guess that only the author of those words can explain to us what exactly did he mean by saying one thing or another. What is left to us is to try to get in touch with the feelings those lyrics are awakening in our hearts, and try to understand the situation that is described. Every reader or listener will relay on his (her) own fantasy.
End It do not censored around. In just over a year of existence they " ve recorded 10 original songs, 2 covers and put out an intense CD. They waste no time musically, either; the record is a 29-minute ride through Hell. This is Metal without the pretense, without the pretty acoustic interludes, extended solos, and melodic vocals. Pure metallic aggression distilled into songs that never last ...
I think that this song is a reproduction of one’s feelings. As I picture it, this person is standing on the hill covered with snow. It is so cold, that everything is frozen, and no sound can be heard around. He is looking ahead, toward the castle. The castle he is going to conquer with the first glimpse of the morning light. He is ready to die. Probably, he is more than sure that he is going to die. We can feel the doubt in his thoughts. He asks himself: “Is it justice, or a foolish pride?” He is trying to find a justification of his deeds. The winter and the freeze are playing a very important role in our story. I’ll relate to the song as to the story from now on, because for me it is one. This freeze our hero feels is not only physical, around him, it is also mental. I this it represents the dimming of one’s feelings. He is not sure but: “Soon the winter reins my heart / And we’re both caught in agony”, then, after he’ll reach the peace inside, the massacre will begin. The readiness to die is not surprising; this was the way those days, and fear of death was almost a crime. But we can sense a lot of remorse about the past “Oh I wish that I could turn back”, or “Too long I was blind”.
If to release our imagination go wild we can picture us this man. He is young, full of pride and full of hatred, but also, full of pain and inevitability. “There’s no choice, it’s all fate”. To my opinion we see here a man, a “… ill-gotten son”. Maybe a son of the royal woman that was raped during one of the war raids of his father. Then, after his birth, he and his mother were cursed and banished to the far corner of his father’s lands. He is the one that must inherit the throne, but as outlawed son, has no recognition. He is here now, near his father’s castle, with an army of his loyal soldiers to claim his rights and to revenge his, and his mother’s honor. “We hold the key, but not the crown” – very noble statement; to me is says that we know the path, and we have the resources to get there, but yet accomplished this task. I think that this boy, a man now, was raised in hate to his father. He was convinced during those long years of growing up, that one day, he’ll have to kill him. But now, he doesn’t know if it is the right thing to do. As long he is standing there, alone with his thoughts, as more convinced becomes that he was played by the fate. He has no choice, but to fulfill his destiny, and reunite with his father in the last dance of death.
The Castle by Rob Sitch and the song ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ by Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly both portray the means of being a part of the global village as they show the readers what it means to be a part of something special. This may come in the form of saving your house or moreover, your home as ‘a home is a man’s castle’ or a historical song showing how we as humans are all ...
To my opinion the song was written to show us the artificial substance of the world in the time we live in. Our society is drowning in lies, politics (which are the same) and corruption. Hopefully I wouldn’t be considered as one, battling against the system. People need a system; people need a frame to give some moral or criminal boundaries for the deeds. But unfortunately our version of the system is actually using us, in order to gain personal moral or physical goods. The “ego” is considered a bad thing. A person who looks for personal benefits, and is not a part of a ruling mechanism, considered to be amoral, and in the worst case – a criminal. We are continuously brought down to be one of the “gray mass”. Today’s Metal artists are righteously angry and using those medium powers they have to give us the idea, to open our eyes onto reality. They show us by their songs, that the most important things are the real ones. No hypocrisy or masks allowed! The real feelings look bad on the movie screen, but happen everyday. We must preserve our ability to understand value the real things and the real feelings, because we are on the edge of loosing it forever.
I chose that particular song also because it tells us about Middle Ages, times when everything was much clearer. You will say that those times were more cruel and bloody, I’ll replay – they were more humanistic. Our world has no magic left. That is why Fantasy and Sci-Fi books are always popular. People are looking for the path to run away and hide of our “made-up” reality. I hope that it is not too late for us to understand the real nature of things and to make our world clean of dirty lies. To make it better place to live in, for our children and generation to come.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? These two questions have bewildered mankind throughout the centuries. Even the greatest philosophers and theologians have yet to develop a concrete answer. Philosophers, theologians, and even religious leaders have developed many hypotheses. Some of these hypotheses support each other while others conflict. It is for ...
La-Vey, Anton Szandor. “The Satanic Bible”, AVON BOOKS, New-York, 1969
Prozac, Espinoza Ray. http://www.anus.com/metal/about/history.html, February, 2002