Why Markus Heitz?
Recently we learned that the group had finally chosen a German author named Markus Heitz and his book series "Legends Of The Albae" (The orchestral project concept!) as concept for the upcoming orchestral album. Until then, the original concept was to be "Lord of the Rings" so fans should ask themselves one question: why Markus Heitz? Hansi gives us the reason for this choice in an interview conducted by the Chilean PowerMetal.cl site.
This was our first idea to do a project based on Tolkien's "Lord Of The Rings", because when we started we were working on Nightfall In Middle Earth, which was heavily influenced by Tolkien's literature, and at that time we came up with two or three songs for this project, so everything speaks a very strong Tolkien language. But on the last seven or eight years, we put our minds backwards and forwards ... what would be the best direction to go for in terms of the concept. At points, we decided that it would be best to go for individual topics, then we decided that it would be best if I come up with an original written by me story, and then, I finally decided that that might be too difficult for me. At that point, we already knew that it would be too difficult to get the rights for such a big project and using anything from the "Lord Of The Rings" literature. So, at that point we knew how the music would sound like, but that it would be too difficult to work with either Tolkien's stuff or stuff written by myself. At the very end, we sort of tried to find a compromise and since Markus Heitz is an author able to deliver stories which have that Tolkien universe attitude, he was the best choice for us, because we work with a German author. So storyboard-wise and ideology-wise, it's very easy to make business and become creative with him at the same time.
I think that the challenge for the orchestral project is still more difficult than Nightfall In Middle-Earth, because at a certain point we had a sort of guideline, from the very early beginning of composing of the album, and we knew which parts of the book to involve or not. It was more a difficult question which exact parts to choose, but after reading these words of The Silmarillion backwards and forwards, it turned up to be very obvious, even though it still was difficult because there was so much content even in that particular small part of "Of The Flight Of The Noldor", where we just were able to cut halfway. If we kept the second half, or the late half, it would be never be released! With Markus, we have the privilege of designing the story suitable for the music as well. That makes it a little easier and gives us a little more headroom with the lyrical issues of the songs. But for Markus, the work might become more difficult because he has to interact with our music as well. And for me, at the very end, it becomes difficult when I have to work with narrative parts and pay justice, pay tribute to his judgment.
To describe the music of this album easily, I would say: just listen to pieces of "Wheel Of Time" or "Sacred Worlds" and you'll make out an idea, but, of course, there is even a more skillful way of featuring an orchestra on these songs, but the atmospheres are very close, and maybe you'll have to add a little bit more of the Tolkien-ish universe into it, it that is possible in terms of music. Apart from that, I still think that these two songs are a very good [representation] of what to expect, apart from, you know, there's no heavy guitars and no gigantic backing vocals choirs, but more intimate singing and yeah, bombastic orchestrals and then orchestral choirs, of course. So if you're into that particular kind of music, the grandeur will be revealed very soon.