Forgive Durden - Razia's Shadow

by B. J. Eakin on Sep 29, 2009 at 10:56 AM
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I know that this has been out for a while, however most all of my music savvy friends say that they have never heard of this.  Therefore I would like to show this to you just in case you missed it last October.  It is the second album from Forgive Durden but it is really different from most things bands put out there.  Over the course of the year this has become one of my favorite albums.

I have tried to get my hands on the first album Wonderland for a few months but have yet to be successful.  Apparently it does not matter, because just before the release of Razia 75% of the band left, so Thomas Dutton went on his own.  Regardless, the second album is just filled with innovative music.  It is not for everyone.  It is theatrical and exaggerated through the majority of the album.  But for those of us who enjoy the Disney animated classics or even musical theater this is a new breed of work that many will appreciate.  Razia's Shadow is an indie musical filled with some darker elements and has some tooth to it.  I have really been admiring Thomas Dutton for his visionary passion in getting this worked out with such an array of artists (which take a look below, it's pretty crazy).

The plot is a creation story gone amiss.  An "angel" revolts against "heaven" because of major pride issues (which seems to be a retelling of the Biblical account) and causes a rift in the creation.  Dark and Light are separated and the world unfolds from there.  The second half is told one hundred years after the trial and the descendants of these supernatural beings hear of a prophecy to restore the world as it should have been.  Through a treacherous journey a couple in love (something ordained by the oracle) manage to do it.  And here is the cheesy/Disney part - they do it through "true-love."  Actually Adakias, the descendant of the fallen angel (Ahrima) sacrifices himself to save his lover and that is how it magically restores the world.  Yes... very cheesy at parts.  However, if this were an actual musical or cartoon for that matter this would be so cool!

I feel though that the first half of the album dwarfs the second.  The intermission marks the spot where I feel that it looses something.  It may be because of the new introduction of characters (who mirror the first set).  However the first half is SOLID.  I can listen to those tracks seemingly over and over again.  Specifically "Life is Looking Up," "The Missing Piece," and "Toba the Tura" are tracks that I have personally given 5-stars on my itunes (oooooooooooooh... i know!).  But the second half has three songs that are kind of life "what???" -- "Meet the King," "Doctor Doctor," and "It's True Love" -- these would only be good with the characters and scenery that a play or animation could do.  The second half is redeemed though with "Holy the Sea." 

I really hope that this gets picked up one day for an animated film or something to that end.  When Forgive Durden came into town I was really wanting to go see them do this, but I realized that it would be a near impossibility to get all of these great artists touring on the same schedule.  I should have given the band a chance but I got busy.  I do wish that they should at least do a special video or something, throw me a bone guys!  Haha.  [edit: apparently a high school or something picked it up for a stage musical or something, haha, videos on youtube)  I hope that Dutton's next act is something similar though, this is some cool stuff.

[check out one of the video's here -- not a million dollar budget, but who cares!]

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1. "Genesis"   Casey Crescenzo 4:19
2. "The Missing Piece"   Lizzie Huffman 4:46
3. "Life is Looking Up"     5:21
4. "The Spider and the Lamps"   Max Bemis 5:11
5. "Toba the Tura"   Chris Conley 4:25
6. "The Oracle"   Danny Stevens 5:23
7. "A Hundred Year, Minute-Long Intermission"   Danny Stevens 1:02
8. "The Exit"   Brendon Urie, Dan Young 5:39
9. "It's True Love"   Greta Salpeter 5:38
10. "Meet the King"   Greta Salpeter, Nic Newsham 5:24
11. "Holy the Sea"   John Gourley, Kris Ayana 6:05
12. "Doctor Doctor"   Shawn Harris 4:57
13. "The End and the Beginning"   Greta Salpeter, Brendon Urie 5:53

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