Friday, February 18, 2011

Destiny-Man, third LP by Requiem Aeternam, has become the First Official Record of Philosophical Metal in the world

Requiem Aeternam are the creators of Philosophical Metal”, genre which entails not only philosophical lyrics, but also music that gets intertwined with philosophical thinking, music that has existential meaning, and not simple imitation of already-known patterns of composition.
Destiny-Man, third LP by Requiem Aeternam, has become the First Official Album of Philosophical Metal Music in the world...

Requiem Aeternam have struggled to create a new style of music since their beginning in 1995, in which philosophy slowly started being an important matter to write both their music and lyrics. Their first record, Eternally Dying (1998), already shows clear philosophical tendencies, in particular through lyrics such as “Nature & Principle”, “Lost in the Unknown”, and title song “Eternally Dying”. However, this album cannot be cataloged as purely Philosophical since its music is mostly influenced by melodic black-death metal, and there is not a strong correlation between music and lyrics. Philosopher (2004), their second record, contains the first song of pure Philosophical Metal, “Logos” [-which has two guitars almost always playing different harmonies to the point of contradicting themselves, becoming almost chaotic at times -as well as drums that without using tons seem not to need them-, yet the synthesis shows understanding, equilibrium] . In this track there is a notable relationship between lyrics (based on the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “the obscure”) and music, style that they named at the time “Dialectical Metal”. Yet, Philosopher still has very important influences of death/black/thrash/doom and other already-existent forms of heavy metal music, even though all the lyrics of Philosopher are completely philosophical, having included excerpts from Romero Sum's first book, “Forbidden Writings”, book that also contributed  to consolidate Requiem Aeternam's main purpose. It is Destiny-Man (2010), their third opus, which takes the podium in heavy metal history.

Why “Destiny-Man” is the First Official Album of Philosophical Metal, ever:
(((A))) Each song is inspired –not based– on classical composers, having chosen 10 composers who are quite different (this is important given that these composers, even though they were not philosophers, were deep thinkers of music -which is a crucial feature of this new genre: to think deeply and sincerely the music as well as the lyrics). However, there is no direct influence of these masters of musical composition, or any existent metal band or any other band of any kind. Thus, every track is a micro-record in potency (there is almost no correlation between the songs, yet the final outcome is a unity), adding a total of 10 tracks (and released in 2010: year related to 10), number that refers to Pythagoras, who probably was the first or one of the first men who wrote music in paper, giving to this art a transcendental character. 

(((B))) Each song in particular has some numerical specifications:
1) Epitaph (inspired by Villa-Lobos [Brazilian]) – 0:59 (< 1 minute)
2) Exordium (inspired by Takemitsu [Japanese]) – 1:30 (< 2 minutes)
3) Purposiveness (inspired by Gershwin [American]) – 2:40 (< 3 minutes)
4) Ser (inspired by Chopin [Polish]) – 3:25 (< 4 minutes)
5) Existence (inspired by Debussy [French]) – 4:25 (< 5 minutes)
6) Requiem Aeternam (inspired by Mozart [Austrian]) – 5:50 (< 6 minutes)
7) Freewill (inspired by Piazzolla [Argentinean]) – 6:25 (< 7 minutes)
8) Destiny-Man (inspired by Beethoven [German]) – 7:05 (< 8 minutes)
9) Vying (inspired by Rachmaninoff [Russian]) – 8:05 (< 9 minutes)
10) Perseverance (inspired by Paganini [Italian]) – 9:25 (< 10 minutes)
The record lasts exactly 50 minutes = 0:59 + 1:30 + ... + 9:25 + 0:01 residual
(All the tracks, except the opening one, end in 0 or 5) [Some CD players may vary the seconds sometimes, although the original master shows exactitude]
Such numeric results are all-important since the idea was to plan the music before it was written, to control the result before happening at all or, better still, to manage existentially a future artistic event.
(((C))) The lyrics of “Destiny-Man” are based on the upcoming second book by Jose Romero Sum (in which they will be included), also named “Destiny-Man”, work that should be released soon. Both the record and the book have the same art cover, since they are part of the same project. This book contains an innovative treaty of philosophy, in which the main subject is the “Philosophy of Destiny”: the doctrine of the “Destiny-Man”.
(((D))) Jose Romero Sum & Requiem Aeternam have worked for 15 years to create a new discipline: Philosophical Music is their outcome -Philosophical Metal is simply a particular case-: deep combination of music and philosophy, where music composition and philosophical thinking get intertwined.
Both the Requiem Aeternam’s third album and Jose Romero Sum’s second book are sufficient testimony to prove this artistic achievement, even though Philosophical Metal already started in 1995-1996, years during which the first Requiem Aeternam's song, “Emergent” (1995), was released and the first philosophical writings by Romero Sum were factualized: “The essence of art is the individual” (1996).

(((E))) Few other metal bands have already made some moves in the direction of Philosophical Metal, but none with enough strength to be considered purely Philosophical Metal, if the definition given in the first paragraph is to be followed. Hence, Requiem Aeternam is undoubtedly the First Band of Philosophical Metal, for what the beginning of this new genre of music can be set in 1995, year where Requiem Aeternam came into being.