Music to Write Realmgard to: And Then There Was Silence

“And as the lion
Slaughters man
I am the wolf
And you’re the lamb.”

Fun fact, in my first-year Classical Mythology class back at Carleton, we had an assignment that was basically “Do a write-up about media that’s about Mythology.”

I chose And Then There Was Silence, German Power Metal icons Blind Guardian‘s song about the Trojan War.

Now, as part of that assignment, we had to include either a link to or a copy of the thing we were writing about.

Even after single-spacing the lines, getting rid of the paragraph breaks, and reducing the font size, the copy of the lyrics I attached to my assignment still came in at 7 pages.

The actual assignment was, like, 3 and a half.

Granted, And There There Was Silence is 14-minutes long.

Clearly, Blind Guardian’s greatest strength is their subtlety and fondness for understatement…

The painting "Aeneas' Flight from Troy" by Federico Barocci.
The Trojan hero Aeneas leading his family from the ruin of Troy. Admittedly a minor part of both the Iliad and the song, but one of my favourite mythological images.
Aeneas’ Flight from Troy: Federico Barocci. Image via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

Fittingly recorded for the album A Night at the Opera, And Then There Was Silence is certainly operatic — as the aforementioned 14-minute length may indicate.

Blind Guardian’s vocalist Hansi Kürsch is described by TV Tropes as having a “nearly superhuman vocal range.” And Then There Was Silence is pretty concrete proof of that. If it is indeed an opera, then Hansi is singing every role — up to and include being his own backing vocals.

And Then There Was Silence is about the Trojan War, so the epic grandeur fits the source material. Now, the lyrics can be a bit cryptic if you aren’t well-acquainted with the sources — Who’s talking here? Why is denying wisdom and power a bad choice?

Why are they singing about Rome?

On the other hand, there are direct references (or at least paraphrases) to the actual text of the Iliad — for example Achillesfamous boast to Hector:

And as the lion
Slaughters man
I am the wolf
And you’re the lamb.

I’m not going to go so far as to say that And Then There Was Silence is one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but it probably is one of the most immediately-impressive things I’ve ever listened to…

So, clear your schedule and take a listen:

My previous Music to Write Realmgard post is here:

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