The name LORD OF THE LOST has been bouncing around the rock and metal community for a while now. Their highly anticipated release Swan Songs III has been my opportunity to experience the stunning sounds of this band. The album also makes me feel ashamed that I haven’t sat down and listened to them sooner. As you might have guessed from the title, Swan Songs III is the third in their series of classic ensemble albums. Judging from these mesmerising sounds, I can understand why this is a highly anticipated release.
It opens with A Splintered Mind; this was one of the single releases. This is honestly one of the most powerful songs I have come across for a long time. For those who know me personally, I am in a constant battle with my mental health and these lyrics describe what thoughts go through my mind before opening up to someone about it. Lyrics such as “could you still love me with a splintered mind” and “behind this shattered lens I see the world through” are just some of the examples of what I mean. You can hear the vulnerability and pain in Chris Harm’s deep, passionate voice as he sings these beautiful lyrics against a back drop of stunning ensemble arrangements.
From listening to this record and previous LORD OF THE LOST material, the one thing I notice is consistency. Whether they are creating a heavy, industrial track or something as delicate on Swan Songs III, the majestic arrangements and heart stopping lyrics can be heard throughout. Below are just some examples of what Swan Songs III has to offer.
The grand ballroom scene from Beauty And The Beast consisting of people wearing flamboyant outfits and equally large wigs comes to mind when I listen to Zunya. From the beats and arrangements, I notice this track is a waltz (two years of learning music theory in Music GCSE teaches you a few things). It’s probably why I think of a grand ballroom when listening to this track. The powerful song writing continues to flourish, the passionate music arrangements are perfect for lyrics such as “my heart is so heavy, it’s dragging me down, I can’t be a king if you’re not my crown”. This is one of my personal favourite tracks on the album.
With Hurt Again’s striking arrangements, this track wouldn’t be out of place in a blockbuster film. From Chris’ passionate voice to the stunning string section, you can hear his resolve, heart and determination as this track plays. If this track were in a film, the character is running out of time when completing an urgent and dire task. The musical arrangements creating the sounds of a clock ticking makes me think of this, the inside of a large clock with all the cogs and gears turning also comes to mind. There is a softer part when it’s just Chris’ prevailing voice and Gared Dirge’s solemn piano melody, this is the point where the character feels like they have lost all hope before gaining back the strength to carry on.
It ends on striking note with We Were Young. It’s the grand finale consisting of beautiful voices (from both Chris and the HEAVEN CAN WAIT CHOIR) and stunning musical ensembles. The song underlines that unique power music has to bring all generations together and you can hear this through the grand sounds of this beautiful song.
If you want more after this ending, not to worry. There is a second CD with the deluxe version of this. This CD consists of handpicked classics from LORD OF THE LOST, including the eighteen-minute-long Letters To Home. All of these have been given THE LORD OF THE LOST ENSEMBLE treatment and they are worth listening to.
Whether you are a long-time fan or a new listener, there is something in there everyone to appreciate. Swan Songs III isn’t just an album, it’s a work of art that will be adored and admired by long-time fans. It will also entice new listeners on the way.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Swan Songs III will be available this Friday via Napalm Records.
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