Monday, October 5, 2009

Power Symphony - Lightbringer

October... This means Halloween... So let’s talk about Satan. It’s close enough of a connection for me.

A recent trend in metal (at least in Europe) is having a lead singer who is also a trained opera singer. Tarja Turunen of Nightwish is a trained opera singer, Sharon Den Adel of Within Temptation is a trained mezzo-soprano singer, and last, and possibly least, Michela D’Orlando of Power Symphony is also a trained opera singer.

The first real contact I had with symphonic metal was Power Symphony, way back in the twelfth grade. This misfit Italian metal group was formed basically in defiance to their hardcore Catholic upbringing, which only goes to show the harder you push someone to be something you run the risk of pushing them to become the exact opposite.

Compared to Nightwish or Within Temptation, which are similar in that they are power metal groups with female opera style lead vocalist, Power Symphony comes off as amateur. Their songs are just not as well thought out or composed as their Finnish and Dutch equivalents. But they are still a tonne of fun.

My favourite song of theirs’ is probably “Lightbringer,” or “Lucifer,” the title track of their second album and one of the best songs about Satan. Now I know what most of you will probably say, “What about The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil,” and yes, well played, defiantly one of the most famous and best songs about the prince of Darkness, but you should already have that song on CD or at least on your computer.

I think Satan is interesting for a lot of reasons, but more than any other he is the original counter culture icon. God is good, and Satan is bad, it’s easy to see the fascination there within, because truth be told the bible says very little on the subject on Satan, he only makes brief cameos at best, and his motives and overall character is never fully developed, which has left writers, artist, poets, and other creative people to imagine what the fallen angel must be like, and often times we try to project out own humanity onto him. So much so, that Satan has become a far more of a relatable character in the works of fiction then God.

I like Lightbringer a lot for its lyrical content about the King of Lies, very sympathetic and relatable.

“Do you remember when I was but a thought,
In your mind of god,
Prime Evil in your thought.
Beautiful as only I can be,
I seduce the foolish mortal being (as is thy will of god)
My name until the end of time
Is Lucifer (your angel of sin) that brings the light”

You may also note that their English is not particularly good.

I think our fascination with Satan has always been we see ourselves in the corrupted angel. We have humanized the devil to represent the evils and mistakes committed by man, convincing ourselves that Satan is manlike, but we have never seen the similarity between our great accomplishments and god, which is interesting when you think about it. Because it is just as plausible to relate amazing feats like nuclear power, modern genetic studies, and walking on the moon, as godlike, but I guess it is just like all of us to dwell on the negative isn’t it? I like to believe that the impossible is just something we haven’t figured out yet, and frankly being able to do the impossible is really the very substance of being a god.

Power Symphony is an interest group of amateurs who never got any attention outside of Europe and even then they were a cult group at best, and I hope you enjoy them. There is a charm to being amateuristic, there is raw grittiness that manufactured music rarely has.

Until next month, keep on rocking in the free world.

- Colin Kelly