I have news about a fascinating project to share with you today. If you’re a fan of concept albums, rock operas, metal music, and Edgar Allan Poe, then you’re in for a rare treat. Chris Violence is taking on Poe’s poem The Raven. The poem is in the process of becoming a 23-minute thrash metal opera, complete with speed metal guitar riffs and Chris singing the entire poem to the musical composition.
The cover art is fantastic. Take a look:
I asked Chris for a one-question interview. Here it is:
Please share your feelings about the poem and your experience in putting it to music.
I think THE RAVEN poem holds a strong bond to many people around the world, but I don’t think many people have actually read the whole thing. Like me, they might be only familiar with the opening line “Once upon a midnight dreary”.
To be honest, it wasn’t until I heard Christopher Walkin reading it on a YouTube video that I realized how powerful and LONG it really was. Hearing those sad, haunting words made me instantly want to apply it to Heavy Metal.
I have always considered my lyrical writing style to be along the lines of Stephen King in the sense that it is always meant to be dark, feared, evil and mean.
Putting this poem to music was easier said than done for me, because I am not a literary junky or historian. The vernacular was alien to me and at times I struggled to even find the correct pronunciation of some of the words let alone their meaning.
Time and time again I had to go back to Google and listen to a playback of the correct pronunciation. I felt it was very important to sing every word as clearly as possible, to not miss a single syllable and to express the words in the way E.A. Poe wrote them back in January 1845.
The music is straight up “Punch you in the Throat” Speed Thrash Metal. Bludgeoning, Blistering, Punishing and most of all, UNRELENTING! At 23+ minutes long it is a BEAST of a track. And believe me, I am very aware, that in a world filled with short attention spans and 2 second sound bites that this is for a potentially small audience.
But I am beyond the stage in my career of making music for radio format, product placement or trendy fans. I make music to settle the demons in my head and this is yet another monster to unleash.
I can’t wait to hear this!
The music for this metal opera was composed on its own, before considering lyrics, and certainly before the idea of bringing The Raven to life. Multi-talented composer, guitar and bass player Jon Du Bose created what has now become the soundtrack for The Raven. Chris Violence then came up with the idea to take on Poe. That process wasn’t quick or easy. According to Chris:
This piece of music demonstrates once again what an amazing guitar player / bass player / song writer / composer Jon Du Bose really is. But what to do with it all? How do I digest it and find a subject big enough and worthy enough to be added to such a piece of music? Where would the breaks go? I was stimied.
You can read the full story on Chris’s site: https://chrisviolence.wordpress.com
The full cast of characters in this project is:
Chris Violence – Vocals
Jon Du Bose – Rhythm Guitar / Bass
Maxxxwell Carlisle – Lead Guitar
Matheus Manente – Lead Guitar
Monkey – Drums
Lyrics – Edgar Allan Poe
Danilo Battistini – Intro / Foley
Mixed and Mastered by Matheus Manente
Connect with Chris to learn more about this and his other projects: