Sunday Sesh: What’s your favorite multi-album mythos?
A few days back, I received a promo for the excellent new Valdrin album Two Carrion Talismans. A whirlwind of death and black metal fused with folk elements, the record delves deeper into the lyrical mines of debut album Beyond the Forest. The narrative arc linking these two records is the Ausadjur Mythos, a swords and sorcery legend of the band’s own conception; Valdrin, the protagonist, faces betrayal and hardship as he navigates the collapse of a kingdom and seeks enlightenment at the collapse of three worlds. It’s a fun synthesis of oral traditions across the globe, here told through scything riffs and moody synths. It’s an intriguing journey, and it’s got me pondering this question: What are the best multi-album narrative arcs written by metal bands?
While you’re cycling through your music catalogue to find me an answer, let’s take another look at some of Valdrin’s lyrics from Beyond the Forest (the lyrics for Two Carrion Talsimans haven’t yet surfaced).
“Battles in the Medieval Sky”
(The End Of Balance: Destruction Of The Light World)
A vision from the age of sorcery
I feel the evil channel through my veins
The power of darkness, within my sword
Now it is the time to call the hordes!
Fallen angels follow towards the sky
Above the clouds the diamond moon aligned
I’ve been waiting so many ages for this day
The grand moment is now seconds away…
Black wizards call forth the freezing winds
I feel my sword pierce through the wall of gems
The rush of battle gives me my strength
Our forces with prevail under my dark embrace
The paladins of light fall to their knees
Lord Ausadjur grins as the warriors scream
Atop the wolf and with serpent sword
He Sets fire to the stream of light that pours
Angels call forth the final strike
Out of the diamond, holy stallions ride
In the cold moon’s light our swords meet
And now the angels will taste defeat.
Now through the portal I walk
I must go back to modern time
But when you call my name I will return
For battles in medieval skies…
“In the Vortex of Time/Relinquish Flesh”
(Epiphany Between The Demise Of Three Worlds)
Nimbus clouds spiral down from the skies
Form the shape of a drain that siphons up the night
To the gateway above, in silence I ascend.
Up the vortex of time; my journey back to earth
With a cold blank stare, I watch this tempest pass
Winding all of this dimension, into a tunnel of glass
In the mouth up above a bulb pulsates in red…
Swallowed, into the sewer pipe
I close my restless eyes
To behold in a prophecy of the mind
My homeland of earth nearing the end of its time…
The human race falls, and all the shrines of greed
Burn down to the plains, the dirt from which they came
Relinquish flesh, search beneath the skin
Relinquish flesh, the human shell grows hallow
Relinquish flesh, extracting blood from vein
Relinquish flesh, all mystic souls are following your call
Towards the eye of the river stream
We await, the moment at which the two worlds converge..
I’m excited to see how Valdrin resolves the ruin wrought at the end of Beyond the Forest. What will Valdrin find beyond the Vortex of Time, within the Cosmic Sea? Is old man Nex still trapped within the portal? What is the Crimson Blade?
No doubt you’ve now thought of a few examples of meta-narratives. Share them in the comments below! But remember, we’re not looking for one-off concept albums, so sorry Mastodon, Nocturnus, etc. I’m here for the Slugdge-type recommendations.