Track By Tracks: Isle Of The Cross - Excelsis (2020)


1. Sacrifice:

Sacrifice is fairly furious yet employs a few touches of the symphonic. It’s a little bit of a tumultuous ride as it’s portraying some struggle, along with the beckoning of death - which is fairly present throughout the album. 

2. Tartarus:

Tartarus tells of the realm the perished lover has now descended into. He knows his fate is doomed and he will spend eternity in the fiery pit of Tartarus, although he pleads with the gatekeeper and the lord of judgment to allow him to avenge his Wife and catch his murderer. He’s then tossed around various portals of the memories he created in life and concludes with a final plea.

3. Excelsis:

Excelsis - the title track, tells of a journey through the highest realms of the heavens and also the fear of crossing over into eternity. The angel of light appears and swears her allegiance in protecting his journey through this very foreign world.

4. The Wolf, Pt I. Invocation:

The two ‘Wolf’ tracks take a little diversion from the storyline in order to pay homage and deliver a message to a small parish who celebrated their 50th anniversary this year. ‘Invocation’ is an octagonal ritual where the leader welcomes and initiates the obliteration of the innocent minds of children.

5. The Wolf, Pt II. Sanctuary:

Sanctuary is a direct message to the small parish previously mentioned and quite timely as they celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. Though it truly is a universal message to all leaders and followers of religious sects and cults who are so violently overcome by their own self-righteous pride and arrogance; having a form of Godliness and blindly believing through their own willing enslavement that they are actually ‘serving God.’ One of the cardinal sins in the world and one radicals are highly fond of, is the brainwashing and tormenting of an innocent mind; especially that of a child. Though redemption is never too far of a reach for any of us and so of utmost importance is the closing monologue. 

6. Stars:

Stars is the most ballad-like of the album and I feel really drives home the feeling of passion and endless dedication between the two lovers in the story of Excelsis. Eric really shreds out the longing and love they share for each other in this one!

7. Empyrean:

Empyrean is where the two lovers are finally nearing each other in the afterlife after so many years of agonizing separation. She has since died and is sent on her journey through the gates of judgment where she is forced to reacquaint herself with the deeds of her life. In the end, it shares that our final destination/our destiny is to be rejoined with all those that we loved in our mortal existence.

8. Paradigm:

Paradigm expresses the agony of waiting for his love to hopefully arrive in this enigmatic world he has been subjected to in the afterlife. He promises he will not cross over into eternity without her. The common theory of spirits/ghosts living in an in-between world where they have a choice to cross over or not is a common theme throughout the album and the main theme altogether of Paradigm.

9. Breatheia:

This is an instrumental track and the words in the beginning ‘I’ve been waiting for you’ are clearly indicative of the two lovers finally reuniting in the afterlife. It has an atmospheric and ethereal feel.

10. The 9th Circle, Pt. I. Caina:

The trilogy of ‘The 9th Circle’ tracks finalize my personal orchestral project on Dante’s Inferno. Caina is the outermost realm of the 9th Circle and this is a full orchestral track.

11. The 9th Circle, Pt. II. Judecca:

Judecca is where Dante gives a quick summation of his journey and as he approaches the final realm of the 9th Circle and the Inferno altogether, he now from a distance sees Lucifer himself. Lucifer is enchained and deeply rooted in the lake of ice.

12. The 9th Circle, Pt. III. Inferno:

Dante finally reaches the final ring of the entire Inferno. Beatrice makes her appearance more apparent and tells of her unending love and guidance for Dante. She and Virgil, Dante’s guide from the very beginning, emphatically encourage Dante to finish his journey as this realm proves to be the toughest of all. The entire Divine Comedy is summed up in the final words of the song which were written by Dante: Salvation’s path begins in hell.

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