Monk Is Mad
______________________________________________________________________________________________ Overall, the album is rather dark and reflects a very trying period in my own life, in my own soul in my very own private Hell. I used this mindset, this pain, to create the album. Dan McIntosh from Spin Magazine wrote, "It is essential to listen to all of these tracks together because this is concept music. It would be difficult, for instance, to take in some of the music apart from the whole, and truly get it." The first track, "Prologue," introduces the album with of sense of restlessness. I rely upon strings or orchestral elements to convey strong emotional sections in my pieces. This is why I used only violins, violas and cellos to create this piece. "The Battle" is about the war for my mind, my soul. Sometimes the battles we face in our minds are worse than the scars we suffer physically. That was the message I sought to convey in "The Battle". I wrote the instrumental piece, "Alchemy," several years ago and I thought it was a good fit, following the theme of the album. Written using synthesizers, a drum machine and a Fender Stratocaster guitar the song is about how man perceives himself in the universe and foolishly believes he is God's equal, thus the title, "Alchemy": the turning of lead into gold. "Forsaken" is a song that truly resonated with me. Tortured by demons, I sometimes felt abandoned by God, as if He didn't care. I felt forsaken, and the Lord's Words drifted through my mind, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mat 27:46) On "Deception" I wanted to explore the feeling of an unconditional love that goes completely unappreciated; a feeling that we all experience at one time or another. "Judas" is a departure in style from the first pieces on the album. Here I wanted to explore, capture and combine the elements of acoustical ambiance, symphonic metal and orchestral grandeur. The song paints the picture of the conversation between Lucifer and Judas. Whereas Judas sounds weak, defeated, pained; Lucifer is dismissive, cunning and convincing. "The Journey" is Christ's journey to Golgotha. His pain, His humiliation, His doubts, His agony are felt throughout the piece. The tolling bell tolls for man, not the Christ, as it reminds us Who we condemned to death. The song ends with God's fury; angered as He witnesses the suffering and death of His only Son. "Crescendo of Pain" is a soundtrack piece that I created inspired by the famous director Alfred Hitchcock, the master of building suspense. In my mind, I could hear "Crescendo of Pain" being played as Cary Grant's conflicted character wrestled his own demons. Several years ago I wrote "Now That You're Gone". Originally the song had lyrics, but I felt that the music was so emotional, so powerful, that the lyrics simply got in the way. The song is about complete loss; the loss of something that you feel you will never have or experience ever again. "The Beast is Rising" is a a little Techno-style piece meant to entertain. "War in Heaven," much like "Judas," was a departure. Here I went full throttle and explored musical discord. I wanted a complete sense of unease; a complete lack of environmental harmony. After all, Heaven was about to be turned upside down. My inspiration for this piece was derived from the Biblical account of Rev 12. The album was recorded at Sheridan Studios. John Vestman from Vestman Mastering (Beverly Hills, CA) mastered the album and Travis Smith (Metallica, Riverside, Slayer, etc) provided the artwork and layout.