Rise of Evil : the Story
From the composer:
"Initially, I wanted to compose a heroic fantasy story, and to limit myself to a single battle - between good and evil of course - in order to concentrate on the details of the action, just as if a movie director had asked me to follow the ebb and flow of an epic struggle on the screen.
I started with "battle music" but soon get frustrated of not being able to employ the incredible sound effects that the Hollywood industry made available to the poor mortal that I am. Elven poetry, blazing fire, clashing swords, battle cries... and the most evocative of all, the terrifying Tibetan bone horn, I'm almost sure you'll mistake for a real dragon howl !
Soon I had to write a small storyline, but I kept it simple, almost naive, to stick to the spirit of fairy tales. The challenge was to create consistency or realism through the power of music and concrete sound samples.
All these elements completed by “exotic” instruments (psaltery, bagpipes...) and voices (that fantastic Slavic choirs !) might hopefully take you far away for a while, in a land where good kings and queens ride on the back of majestic and terrific dragons to fight evil wizards and their barbarian hordes.
Hope you'll enjoy the trip, and get back to our world with a refreshed heart.”
The story, track by track
(1) Somewhere, the universal Evil is lurking, growing in strength and finally coming back again... (2) On this island of great proportion, not unlike the legendary Atlantide, barbarian raiders coming from the sea suddenly fall upon the peaceful folk, whose only wrong is to have forgotten the specter of war. But then, led by the greatest warrior of the realm, the king of fire, come the men and women of the guard, intoning the antique pean of the watch. Soon, as the unfaltering wall of spear rush to the enemy, the battle begins. (3) In a trance-like state, the one who's also known as the phoenix king hack and slash through the disordered ranks of the would-be conquerors...and the miracle happens again, the spirit of the fire bird manifest into the king and he becomes a living blaze whose flames only hurt the wrong and warm the rightful hearts.
(4) Soon the enemy is vanquished, terrorized by this demonstration of power and fury. But that was the plan of Evil : To wait for the king to be possessed, because a mind consumed by anger is vulnerable. By clever words and suggestions, by promises of might beyond contempt, the innocent king fell to darkness, and vanish in the wake of the fleeing raiders.
(5) Astonished by the disappearance of their king, the good folk turns to the ancestral trees and the maidens of the leaves foresee a terrible future : Soon the armies of the enemy will be back, with at their head the new champion of Evil, the fallen king of fire.
(6) In those times of great peril, the bravest horsemen of the realm, the silver spurs, are sent on a quest across the whole island to find the wandering sage, this enigmatic figure who might be the only one to remember the chants that could wake the dragons.
(7) But will the formidable dragons answer to the call of the mortals, they who now live in the deepest caves of the highest mountains, forever lost in their dreams of a lost age ? And it is said that it was not the voice of the old wizard, but the cries of the innocents that took the dragons back to the realm of men.
(8) And lo ! Now that the invaders are back, the winged terrors counter attack. Nothing can stand against the wrath from the sky, and it seems for a while that the only choice for the forces of Evil is to flee or perish in dragons fiery breath. (9) But among the treacheries of the lord of Darkness, sorcery is the greatest. All the warlocks gathered by Evil conjure an unnatural storm so powerful that even the older dragons are forced to land. (10) And then he comes, summoned by the hue and cry of the barbarian horde, the barely recognizable former phoenix king, transformed by the power of darkness in a brutish figure of strength, challenging one by one the best fighter of the realm, in a gruesome parody of an old fashioned duel.
(11) Until came a challenger Evil hadn't expected. Surely not the strongest, nor the more skilled at arms, but the most vengeful. She was the king's bride. And as she walked at him, the champion of darkness loose confidence and ultimately, as the beast inside him achieved to take over his humanity, the sword of fire in his hand extinguished. He was no longer the king of fire. He was no longer immortal. And so she killed him.
(12) As the battle turns against the forces of Evil, the king's bride hear the sword of fire call. "Hold me, and you'll become the new phoenix queen !" She takes the sword but instead throw it at the sea, never to be heard again.
And thus Evil was vanquished.
(13) The memory of the last phoenix king is celebrated : "no tears for the king of fire, for he now lives inside us forever".