Track By Tracks: Fortis Ventus - Vertalia (2022)

Vertalia is a concept album based on a novel fairytale written by George Halliwell. The theme of this fairytale focuses on an imaginary planet called Vertalia, where our main character starts his journey to discover his inner truth and the truth of life itself. Through the challenges he faces during his journey back to Earth, he connects with his higher self and path and eventually achieves inner peace, back in Vertalia, where his homeland is. The audience will be surprised at the intricate orchestrations that hide behind complex melodies in an album that each person hearing, will find a glimmer to empathize in every track.

1. Between Love and War:

The opening song, a powerful duet with Illusory's Dee Theodorou, starts with a ghostly ethereal soprano voice and leads to a marching orchestra. The vocals clash, as the name of the song suggests, in a war showcasing the calm of the female vocals and the rawness of the male ones. It goes on to brew a storm of sixteenth notes and triplets with the voices blending in balance as it reaches an epic finale.

This song describes the pain of loss and lonesomeness between two souls who cannot be together in life but are connected forever.

2. Birth of Sadness:

One of two ballads on the album. This power ballad features a melancholic violin, haunting melodies, and a build-up to a heavy verse and chorus. It features a harmonizing solo from both the electric and bass guitars. It then returns to a fading out of the hollowness of a piano, strings, and voice.

The song is about the unbearable despair of losing someone we love forever, while we long to reunite with them in the afterlife.

3. Vertalia:

The title track of the album is the purest form of cinematic experience one can enjoy from our album. The rhythmic pattern of the strings, flanked by walls of sound from the massive brass section is aggressive, countered by the calmness of the vocals making you feel like you are caught in the eye of a storm.

Vertalia is all about letting your mind fly free from the burdens of the material world while entering the path of search.

4. Cave of Glass:

A journey to the dramatic and mysterious. Thriller undertones start us of with violins playing an eerie tune only for the song to break into big, open, distorted chords. It then takes a dark turn, void of distortion with a prominent operatic melody. The chorus follows a straight beat and more melodic vocals to a heavy bridge baptized in a touch of horror. The ending brings forth an air of hope with the orchestration reflecting that.

Cave of Glass is a grim dark song that simulates the challenges and dark forces, a person has to face in their life in order to conquer their past, so they can be truly free.

5. Living Thorns:

A cinematic orchestral piece, that ranges from terrifying to sweet, simply through the use of the orchestra and mainly a grand piano.

Living Thorns is an instrumental prelude and it's a dark pathway to escape from the weaknesses that trouble us.

6. Gothecia:

This one is undoubtedly the heaviest track of the album. Resonant choirs, booming distorted guitars and black metal influences throughout this track give it an air of dread.

Gothecia is the gloomiest song of the album. It's all about the dark thoughts that stem from loneliness turning us cold and cruel to others. Although, it can also be viewed as the strength needed to overcome our darkest selves and thoughts.

7. Unveiling Path:

This song takes us on a journey. Oriental scales lead us to distant lands as a flute and a violin guide us through. That leads to a breakdown of staccato strings to a cinematic verse. An open chorus ties it all together. The song takes the listener to a different part as it changes the key and style to a film score. The finale, it brings a hard-rocking vibe complete with a guitar solo and straight beat.

Unveiling Path honors mother nature, the importance of her in our world, and the gifts she bestows on our lives as we all are, but a minute part of her.

8. My Death Is My Devotion:

An epic orchestral intro brings us to stormy seas only for the rhythmic triplets to ground us as the catchy melody gets stuck in your head. The vocals sing long notes while the band and orchestra keep a groovy rhythm going. Then it quiets down to a somber voice that is filled with emotion only for it to return even stronger than before.

This particular song captures the pain and faith behind the sacrifices for the ones we care about driven by love and loyalty.

9. Door to the Unknown:

Door to the Unknown is the second instrumental prelude and is tied together with the track before it and with the track after it. The title hints at it's purpose as a connection between the two, as the beginning echoes "My Death Is My Devotion" and the finale's orchestration paves the way for "Reflections of Myself" and the rest of the album.

10. Reflections of Myself:

This one begins with an industrial feel and an air of openness. A groovy verse both by the rythm section and vocals leads to an ear-catching chorus that gets stuck in your head. It brings a hint of diversity as we feature brutal vocals in the backline of the chorus alongside the choir. A melodic guitar solo brings us to a dramatic emptiness as the booming sound of a cello fills the sound. A quiet piano solo builds up to the final heavy chorus ending with just the voice and piano.

Reflections of Myself is about all the distorted aspects of our lives and whether the light we are bathing in is real or an illusion crafted by our perverted thoughts and mind.

11. The Eagle's Chase:

Staccato strings and a fast rhythm section with double bass drums alternate with halftime breakdowns. A classic open-power metal chorus with grand high notes and a key change for the finale brings the listener to even higher grounds.

The Eagle's Chase describes life's and one's afflictions and sufferings we all have to overcome, in order to ignite the spark of love and light in our souls.

12. Homeland:

The second ballad of the album serves as the epilogue of this concept album. Softer sounds, a classical guitar and a hopeful voice show the way to an uplifting chorus. The whole song builds to a grand cinematic key change and chorus with full operatic vocals and ends on a uplifting tone of freedom.

Homeland is a song of redemption narrating the final step of connecting with our higher self, with the acceptance of forgiveness and embrace.

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