Track By Tracks: Dreamslain - Forge Of Rebellion (2024)

1. Secrets of the Forge:

This song and the final song on the album were initially one song where there were two different ideas for lyrics. So it fits well that they became the first and last song on the album. We split the songs up and focused on the 6/8 riffs for the story of this song. This is also the first song where we try out cembalo, inspired by 90s power metal bands like Stratovarius.

The solo was initially meant to only be played over the heavy riff, but playing around on the acoustic guitar we got two versions of the riff that we liked. So to use both, we decided to do the build-up and transition you hear on the Hammond solo.

The song started with a focus on historical uprisings, but with several big protests taking place in Norway at the time of writing it, it was natural to draw the parallel to today's demands to governments that turn a deaf ear to their people's needs.

2. Burn the Boats:

The idea for this song’s lyrics came to us while researching the topic of pushbacks and other human rights violations EU agencies and other organizations committed in the Mediterranean Sea. We read about fishermen sometimes hauling up more dead bodies than fish and found out about the EU policy of destroying traditional fishing vessels in Greece for a few thousand euros in compensation. For us, it is important to mention, that even though some of the horrendous policies we talk about, are made by the EU, we do not see this as a problem that can be solved by nationalism, but rather by dismantling international capitalism.

When writing Braving the Storm, there was one riff that we didn’t quite get to fit into the song, but that we still liked a lot - so we integrated it into Burn the Boats, and therefore, both musically and lyrically, it makes sense to call these two songs sister songs. Both on the album and live, they merge seamlessly into each other.

3. Braving the Storm:

The song is a reinterpretation of an idea Daniel had for another band he was playing with, where he wrote a song about the sea rescue on the Norwegian coast. Merging it with the folk-inspired first riff (initially written on acoustic guitar) and several occurrences of pushbacks instead of rescue of asylum seekers’ boats in the Mediterranean made this song take its final form.

This song is not only the sister song of Burn the Boats, but also calls back to our first release, Break Down the Walls, with the riffing on the 2nd and 5th verses and the guitar fill-ins which are inspired by the guitar melodies on that song.

When we sent this song to be mixed, our mixing engineer Steve Walker asked us to double-check whether the organ solo version we had sent was the correct one, because it sounded very disharmonical. However, this is intentional, with the chromatic runs and melodies inspired harmonically by the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, we seek to picture the singing winds of the sea and the rolling of a ship during a storm.

4. Ghost Story:

The idea for this song came to us while watching the series “Bring it On Ghost”. In one episode, the exorcist and his ghost companion help release tortured ghosts captured in a mental hospital where the patients had been severely abused. With the horrible news of people trying to flee from war and destruction being pushed back, interned in camps and mistreated by racist border police agencies, and abandoned by politicians allowing all this, we decided to write a story set in a European context, linking today’s situation to our past - but this time, it is the ghosts who help the protagonist escape!

Musically, the song draws heavily on the sound you would expect from an old piano you find in an abandoned building, but also the lamenting tone of both guitars and Hammond organ, combined with the raging blast beats of our drummer. The vocals on this song were quite challenging, and we would not have been able to pull off such a complex vocal arrangement if it hadn’t been for Igor taking singing lessons from Gianni Nepi of Dark Quarterer.

5. Dragon of Ice:

The by far oldest song on the album, initially written at the same time as Shadow Warriors (which you can hear on our previous album), this song needed several rewritings before we were happy with how it sounded. It also needed a lot of work before Igor got the vocals he wanted for this song (again, thanks to lessons from Gianni Nepi).

It is the first song where Anna and Daniel trade solos, which was a cool mix-up of what we have done previously on songs like Knights of La Mancha, Ownership Denied, and The Fall Of The Elven Lord.

The near-percussive piano chords in the heaviest part of the song are inspired by Bela Bartok’s music, this is the first time we managed to integrate this kind of musical expression into one of our songs.

6. Humankind’s Fall:

As mentioned previously, parts of this song, mainly the first 2 verses, were intended for a more medieval-themed song that eventually became Secrets Of The Forge. For this song, we drew inspiration from the German progressive rock titans Eloy to get the slow drive that they have on a lot of their songs.

The overall mood of Forge of Rebellion is darker than in our previous releases, reflecting the deteriorating situation in the world when it comes to conflict resolution, human rights, double standards, and imperialistic greed. Humankind’s Fall is inspired by all these events, both warning the listener of what will be the end, but also bringing hope for change at the end of the song.

This song is mixed somewhat differently from the rest of the songs. To make the riffs work, Steve Walker, had to mix it more like prog rock, focusing more on keyboards than guitars.

It is interesting to note, that once again, the music that initially inspired the song, in this case, Eloy and Iron Maiden, sounds very little like what we end up creating. In other words, with our music, telling you what songs of bands inspired it will in many cases surprise you more than give you an idea of what our songs are gonna sound like.

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