Track By Tracks: ROSSLYN - Totentanz (2023)

1. By the Sword (The Monk):

This track deals with the legend of the Bell of Huesca, starring king Ramiro II of Aragon (1086-1157) so-called “the Monk”, the successor of Alfonso I the Battler, to whom the band also dedicated “Legacy of the Battler” in their first album Soul in Sanctuary. The legend itself tells how the king solves the most gruesome way possible problems between his government and the rebel nobility from the kingdom. That’s how sh*t was done in the 12th century!

2. The Martyr and the Myriad:

The song tells us the martyrdom of Santa Engracia and her “myriad” other martyrs, carried out in 303 A.D. in what is now Zaragoza, as a part of the Great Persecution against Christians enacted by Roman Emperor Diocletian. The song invites to reflection about self-convictions and the value we give our own lives.

3. The Eighteen Charms:

A retelling of the eighteen charms learned by Norse God Odin when he offered himself to himself in sacrifice, as told in the poem Hávamál, from the Edda Poetica.

4. Dancing on My Grave:

No legend, work, or historical event reflected this time. Dancing on My Gave is just an ode to a hedonistic carefree life. The character here enjoys a duty-free death more than in his past life.

5. Age of the Plague (Totentanz):

Inspired mainly by the Great Mortality of the 14th century, but reflecting also our own time, Age of the Plague explores pandemic thought, from desperation and fear to the assumption of equality when facing death, in the fancy of the classic concept of memento mori. It is, as the subtitle implies, a Dance of Death, but also a celebration of life and getting through desperate times.

6. To Hamburg:

The track gives a glimpse of the Slavic revolt of 983 led by the Lutici against Ottonian rule and the Christianization of a pagan land. It is but a warning against zealotry, and an invitation to resistance, a call to arms against injustice.

7. My Name Is Victor:

Rosslyn revisits here Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein, brimmed with themes such as bioethics, the deceiving nature of progress and technology, but most remarkedly in the song, the importance of caring, and parental and affective responsibility.

8. Black Sails to the Wind:

The last song from Totentanz tells a part of the legend of the Flying Dutchman, one with many variants, of which Rosslyn has chosen Wagner’s opera Der fliegende Holländer, a romanticist piece full of potent imagery and obscure symbolism.

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