Chapter IV makes a hard shift into totally different musical territory than Chapter III. It takes you on a journey of science and mankind’s insatiable hunger to unravel the unknown of mind and matter as we explore the immensity of the universe, beauty of our home: Planet Earth and everyone on it.
With the first track of the album “Space for Rent” I wanted to create a piece of music that had a feeling of home floating in space. Our home, planet Earth has this feeling to me. We feel safely planted with our feet on the ground, yet beyond the thin veil of our atmosphere we are fully exposed to a mystifyingly great unknown which we have only just begun to explore and understand.
The second track is a tribute to the 1969 moon landing and the famous Apollo 11 NASA rocket.
“Rocket to the Moon” is a full orchestral firework piece which depicts the intensity of space travel, which is then followed by “Cruising in Space”, a fun symphonic metal journey featuring Merethe Soltvedt. It is THE most challenging track Merethe has ever had to sing on, as I wrote the lead part originally with a synth sound and after recording the orchestra for the track I had the idea to send her the track and see if there was any way she could possibly reach those high notes. Unbelievably, she did, and so what we ended up with was a sort of duet between an alien (sung by Merethe) and a futuristic synthesizer! And of course the backing of a full orchestra and choir, guitars, drums and whatever else I could fit (and not fit) into it. The track also has a little bridge which we call the “UFO interlude”.
Furthermore we have a change of pace into a series of element tracks I wrote. “Made of Air, Fire, Earth and Water” are tracks that bind the variety of the album’s many musical styles together, with genres of music ranging from melodic progressive pop (Made of Air) to sophisticated choral and electronic work (Made of Fire).
The already well-known track “One Million Voices” is the center piece of the chapter and represents Humanity in all our cultural diversity.
With “Please Don’t Go” I wanted to recreate musically the feeling of complete and utter despair we feel as we experience the loss or are left by a loved one. The feeling can be described as a black hole that indiscriminately destroys the fabric of our existence. An anxiety that grows and grows as the feeling of loss becomes more and more real and unbearable. It was a hard track to make. To go about creating this I decided to feature a woman breathing heavily and increasingly rapidly through the length of the piece, and the voice “I love you” repeated in a hypnotic way towards the end.
The album concludes with “So Small”, which is a hymn to our existence in this universe. Our lives seem so small and insignificant when we look at ourselves spinning around on a planet in space that is tiny compared to the rest of the universe, yet to us it is home, and all we really know.
Artwork by Sam Hayles