Track By Tracks: Destrania - Divine Archaic Lore (2022)

Before creating the album Divine Archaic Lore, I had an idea of a concept of a story that I would try and tell while relying on instrumentation alone. There is an overarching tale that I have found my own meaning in, but also want the listener to come up with their own story.

1. Remembered (Intro):

This song sets the stage for the rest of the album. I wanted something that sounded epic with a bit of bombast to bring the listener in and make them curious about what the rest of the album might bring, painting a picture of an almost fantastical world through the use of solo vocalists, french horns, harp,  and complex strings.

2. Abandoned:

This is where the album really kicks off. Keeping in tune with the tone of the intro, I wanted this song to really introduce a sense of scale by bringing in large choirs, more dynamics, and of course the drums, bass, and guitar. It's also imagined this is where the protagonist is introduced. Someone with a good life, no complaints, thankful, and virtuous. But then by the end of the song, tragedy or sickness has befallen their significant other. As such, the tone and styling of the song become more frantic with the closure, and you get a sense that things aren't well. There's something off.

3. Cataclysm Hymn:

This is the first song where heavy use of a piano is introduced. Being raised taking piano lessons, I like to often incorporate piano in the music I write and create. This is also the song where things seem to take a darker, almost more atmospheric tone. I like to make use of drastic dynamics as well, so heavy passages will almost abruptly end to make these interesting transitional moments throughout this song in particular. The story here is that the protagonist is doing absolutely everything they can to make their significant other well again. Pleading and hoping but to no avail. By the end of the song, their loved one passes away.

4. A Reason to Live:

I wanted to create an almost sense of madness in the first third of this song, imagining that the protagonist has lost all hope and thus has begun living in a way that depicts nothing that seems to matter to them anymore. One thing in this song enjoy is the little bit of inspiration from genres such as jazz or even funk at times. The middling section in particular showcases this. Then a softer passage occurs. I brought the strings to the forefront here and all but dropped the guitars. Then the heavy and yet still melodic finale hits hard to close things out, nodding to the beginning of the song to tie it all together.

5. Pilgrimage (Interlude):

This is the softest moment on the album other than the epilogue. I used ethereal-sounding vocals, synth strings, and a harp to create a beautiful, atmospheric moment that breaks up the album into two primary parts. The protagonist here has a vision that shows them there is a way to bring their loved one back again and return to how it was before they passed away, though the journey would be treacherous.

6. The Mountain of Sorrow:

Here is where things really begin to get more interesting to me. I wanted to create a song that was a little bit of a departure in some ways than the others that came before it. I was going through my keyboard sounds and found a very interesting, almost creepy-sounding electronic piano patch that I decided would be perfect for this song and this part of the album. Also, to add to the atmosphere, I brought in sounds of a storm that play throughout the background, with thunder strikes that amplify some of the transitional moments. The first half of this song after the guitars come in is a little bit more uptempo and upbeat than the others, with a lot of different changes to the patterns, rhythms, and riffs. Then a soft section highlighting the keyboard sound makes its way into the very heavy second half. Powerful drums and deep layers of instruments really amplify the moments leading up to the ending section which hearkens back to a part earlier in the song but this time with a faster BPM and darker tone. The protagonist sets off on his journey to find the place where they can bring their loved one back, and at the time of departure have a newfound sense of hope. Though as time goes on during this journey they find it isn't as easy as they might have thought. Over time things begin to wear on them and they slowly become more tired, battered, and bruised.

7. Reflection. Regret. Death.:

This is the climax of the album. As the protagonist goes on they really begin to look inward and feel remorse for how they let this loss get the better of them, absolutely destroying who they thought they were and who they want to be. As these realizations come to them they see the spirit of their loved one reach out to them to take them with them to the great beyond. The body of our protagonist dies, but the spirit is whisked away to be with their lover forevermore. This is easily the most symphonic song on the album. I really pushed myself to dig deeper into the orchestral elements and try to create something that sounded more like what might be on a soundtrack to a movie or video game. I also decided to drop the piano here in favor of those other elements. Various strings, harps, winds, horns, choirs, and other orchestral elements are used here. A lot of interesting changes keep the listener on their toes as well. I think this might be the most dynamic of all the songs I created on the album. Heavy and complexly layered at times but also maintaining melody and harmonics.

8. Forgotten (Epilogue):

This is the subdued end to the album. Very simple structure with a nice melody and harmonization between the cello and harp. I also decided to bring in a little bit of wind noise for a dramatic effect that also reflects what I did on The Mountain of Sorrow track. The body of the protagonist withers away with time and is gone to the world, though as we know he lives on in a different plane of existence.

9. Reflection. Regret. Death. (Orchestral Version):

Because of the heavy use of orchestral elements in this song, I decided to release an orchestral version as a bonus for people to enjoy. You can really pick up on some of the subtle things that you may not have otherwise heard in the full version.

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