Featured Song: Pain

I’m going to stray into the world of alternative rock again, with another song from Jimmy Eat World.

I’ve previously featured “Hear You Me” from their album Bleed American. Today’s selection is from their subsequent 2004 album, Futures.

Futures is a darker album than Bleed American, and that really shows through in today’s song, “Pain”, which is probably one of Jimmy Eat World’s angstiest works to date. Naturally, it is precisely this intensity that makes me like the song so much.



Lyrics and discussion can be found here.

I’m also going to give mention to a very memorable acoustic cover of this song that I came across on YouTube:



I find this cover very unique because, it addition to the cover artists obviously being quite talented, their interpretation of the song gives rise to a cover that has a very different sound and atmosphere from the original song, and yet is still very compelling. Kudos to them!

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Featured Song: The Last Crusade

I introduced Epica into this series a few months ago, when I featured their song “Façade of Reality”.

I remarked at the time the similarity in sound between that song, and some of After Forever‘s preceding works, unsurprising due to both being the creation of composer Mark Jansen.

Despite an early similarity to After Forever, Epica has over time developed a distinctive sound of their own, which is at times more upbeat and adventurous. Today’s selection – “The Last Crusade” from Epica’s second full-length album, Consign to Oblivion – is a good demonstration of this. Still touching on religious themes, it’s a more fast-paced and cinematic song than “Façade of Reality”.

This song is also another example of Mark Jansen’s fondness for telling stories that span several songs; much as “Leaden Legacy” and “Façade of Reality” were part of a collection of songs spanning different albums (and, in this case, bands!) called “The Embrace That Smothers”, so “The Last Crusade” is the first part of a new collection of Epica songs, again spanning multiple albums, called “A New Age Dawns”.



It’s also worth checking out a live version of this song, performed by Epica in Miskolc, Hungary for their live album, The Classical Conspiracy. I really enjoy the descant that lead singer Simone Simons throws into the works at the end of the song.



Featured lyrics:

Don’t be afraid, participate and
Just give us all your trust
Your soul will be saved
Just follow me, I’ll set you free so
Get ready to join the
Very last crusade

Full lyrics can be found here.

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Featured Song: Silhouette of a Dancer

I’ve featured two songs by Delain in this series so far; time for a third!

This one is from their debut album Lucidity again, called “Silhouette of a Dancer”.

I really like this song for its mix of symphonic and progressive elements; the second half of the piece, where it progresses through several different styles/atomspheres, is particularly nice.



Featured lyrics:

Waiting for a change
I can’t fight these chains everyday
I bleed to avoid the pain
Everyday I fade a little more

Full lyrics can be found here.

Delain also released a shorter, acoustic version of the song, on their single See Me In Shadow; it’s also quite beautiful:

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Featured Song: Christmas Canon

As it’s the holiday season, I thought I’d feature something Christmas-themed.

This is “Christmas Canon” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), from their 1998 album The Christmas Attic; it’s a beautiful interpretation of baroque composer Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D, featuring a five-part harmony sung by a children’s choir, with orchestral accompaniment.

I performed this piece as part of my high school choir back in the days, and have been fond of it ever since.

The video below is of TSO performing this piece live, spectacular as always.



TSO later recorded a rock version of this piece, on their 2004 album The Lost Christmas Eve. Here’s a live performance of that (it’s a fan recording, but great quality):



Hope you’ve enjoyed them! Happy holidays once again, and Happy New Year!

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Featured Song: Star-Crossed Dreamer

When I’m in the mood for something uplifting and adventurous, Edenbridge never disappoints.

This is “Star-Crossed Dreamer”, from their latest album The Bonding. I really enjoy the build-up in this song, culminating in a beautiful guitar solo!



Featured lyrics:

Forever I’ll shine
The whole world is mine
A dreamer, a fancier am I

Full lyrics can be found here.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

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Featured Song: Papillon

Today’s selection is “Papillon” from Stratovarius‘ 2003 album Elements, Part 1.

Elements, whose title track I’ve featured in the past, is one of my favourite Stratovarius albums; I find that the symphonic orchestration really brings out the epic feel that Stratovarius tries to materialize in their work.

“Papillon” (the word is French for “butterfly”) is particularly memorable to me due to the intensity of the orchestrated section that comes in around 2:12 and again around 4:34.

Here it is, set by a fan to a haunting slideshow of images:



Lyrics can be found here.

Stratovarius have also released a French version of this song.

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Featured Song: Overture from Black Symphony

Today’s selection is an orchestral piece: the overture played at the beginning of Within Temptation’s Black Symphony concert in 2008.

This concert was one of the rare occasions where a symphonic metal band performs live with a full choir and orchestra. Within Temptation was accompanied by Netherlands’ prestigious Metropole Orkest and PA’dam choir, in the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam. The concert was filmed and released as a live album.

The overture was composed by Jeff Buckley (who has since gone on to become the chief conductor of the Metropole Orkestr) specifically for this concert, to showcase the orchestra and choir. It’s quite an impressive live performance!

Check it out:

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