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Razia's Shadow: A Musical
Studio album by Forgive Durden
Released October 28, 2008
Recorded October 2007 - July 2008
Genre Progressive Rock,Musical
Length 64:03
Label Fueled by Ramen
Producer Casey Bates
Professional reviews
Forgive Durden chronology
Wonderland
(2006)
Razia's Shadow: A Musical
(2008)

Razia's Shadow: A Musical is an album from Forgive Durden released on October 28, 2008. It is a musical featuring members of popular bands such as Gatsbys American Dream, Say Anything, The Hush Sound, An Angle, The Dear Hunter, The Matches, Saves the Day and Panic! at the Disco, among others. The album was released by Fueled by Ramen.

The album was conceived by Thomas Dutton and co-written by his brother Paul.[1] The album also features Rudy Gajadhar of Gatsbys American Dream on drums.[2]

The full album was released for streaming on the band's website on October 24, 2008,[3] and was subsequently leaked via torrents that same day.

Contents

Production

Writing for the album started in approximately January 2006, with Thomas Dutton writing and recording the first demo with then-guitarist Thomas Hunter. Dutton had originally envisioned the album as a side-project, without the involvement of drummer Andy Mannino and bassist Jesse Bauer.[4] In the months that followed, Hunter, Mannino, and Bauer all quit the band due to personality conflicts, leaving Dutton as the sole member.[5]

At this point, Dutton decided the album would be released under the Forgive Durden moniker and enlisted the help of his brother Paul, a music composition major who was still in school at the time. The brothers would collaborate on weekends while Paul was still in school, with Thomas writing and demoing their ideas during the week. Thomas drew much influence from musical films such as Moulin Rouge, Newsies, and many of Disney's animated musical films such as Aladdin.[4]

Recording began in October 2007 with Rudy Gajadhar recording drums. Due to budget limitations, Thomas elected to primarily use software for the orchestral parts rather than hiring musicians. More than half of the guest vocalists were recorded in person, while the remainder of the vocalists were sent electronic files with Thomas singing their parts. The vocalists then recorded their parts and returned them electronically.[4]

Recording was finished in July 2008. The album artwork was created by Blaine Fontana. In addition to the standard version, a deluxe version of the album will also be available. It includes the album in a DVD-sized case with a copy of the full script and artwork.[6]

Story

In an interview with Alternative Press, Thomas declined to go into great detail about the album's story, stating only that the story is split into two halves: "The first half is the creation and ultimate division of the world. The second half is the story of destined love and the world being reunited as one."[4] The Fueled By Ramen product page describes the album as follows:

The album tells the story of a world divided in two by the selfish actions of a powerful and egotistical, yet insecure angel. After generations of darkness, the world is eventually brought back together by the love and sacrifice of a couple brave enough to fulfill their destinies.[7]
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Characters

The official Razia's Shadow website lists the characters with accompanying pictures. A new character was added to the site every weekday starting in mid-September until September 29, 2008. The characters are as follows:

Story by Song

Genesis (ft. Casey Crescenzo): The Narrator (Aaron Weiss) introduces the beginning of the story, in which O the Scientist (Casey Crescenzo) creates the world in which He will live with His angels. The Narrator explains that His two purest cherubs are Ahrima (Thomas Dutton) and Nidria (Lizzie Huffman), who both believe in love and hope. The Narrator further explains that Ahrima is very frustrated at the thought that his skills are being misused and ignored, but Nidria is there to calm his frustration. Ahrima confesses to Nidria that he loves her.

The Missing Piece (ft. Lizzie Huffman): Although still frustrated that O the Scientist is failing to appreciate his skills, Ahrima confesses his love to Nidria, who tells him she's falling in love too and that he must be patient because sooner or later O will see he's meant to do great things. The Narrator tells how Ahrima goes to O the Scientist to complain about not being able to show his skills, but all O does is smile and dismiss him with a few words.

Life Is Looking Up: Now alone, Ahrima dreams of the day O the Scientist and the other angels will realize how he can change the world and all the compliments they will give him. He creates the Lamps, both to show his skill and as a monument of his love to Nidria. The people of the world adore the lamps, but only see the glory of O the Scientist in the light versus in Ahrima. Feeling discouraged and angry, Ahrima retreats to the darkness, beginning his fall from glory.

The Spider and the Lamps (ft. Max Bemis): In the shadows, Ahrima sits contemplating his dilemma. As he does this, Barayas the Spider (Max Bemis) lands on his shoulder and fills Ahrima's head with ideas of grandeur and boosts his ego with flattery by saying that he has a "special gift" and "they don't understand". He urges him to bring the lamps to Barayas and destroy them, which Ahrima does. The Narrator then reveals that Ahrima's actions turn out for the worst. Toba the Tura is then sent to punish and hold Ahrima accountable, as the rest of the world has to deal on their own with the consequences of Ahrima's actions.[8]

Toba the Tura (ft. Chris Conley): Toba the Tura (Chris Conley) comes to make Ahrima understand the damage he's done: Toba the Tura opens Ahrima's eyes and shows him the ashes of what was the world he helped to create. Ahrima realizes what he's done and tries to say he's sorry, but Toba the Tura doesn't accept his apology and tells him he's going to live in the Dark world he's created, while his family will move away in a place that still has Light. Ahrima calls out to O the Scientist "Oh, what have I done, please make me your son!" while Toba sings of Ahrima's betrayal. The narrator tells us that Ahrima's family builds a wall between the Dark world of Ahrima and their world to separate themselves from him and for centuries the world will be separated in two halves.

The Oracle (ft. Danny Stevens): The Oracle (Danny Stevens) and the angels tell about a prophecy that says one day will come two people whose love (and one's sacrifice) will be so strong to reunite the two halves of this separated world and reunite the Dark and the Light as one. The Narrator tells how in the dark live two brothers: Pallis (Brendon Urie), the oldest, and Adakias (Thomas Dutton), the youngest. When they were kids they used to listen to myths and legends about Holy the Sea and the Divided Terrene, myths that Adakias believes are true. Pallis and the population disapprove of his dreams, while Adakias hopes to leave the Dark world.

A Hundred Year, Minute-Long Intermission (ft. Danny Stevens): 100 years past between The Dark and The Light. The angels re-sing part of "Genesis."

The Exit (ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, Dan Young of This Providence): Adakias (Thomas Dutton) is prince of the city of darkness, along with his brother Pallis (Brendon Urie). However, he is contemplating leaving his kingdom. He longs for a world and life like in the stories he has heard. Others, including his brother, try to convince him otherwise and ask why he can not be more like his brother. He, however, feels that his destiny might be outside his kingdom and may in turn fulfill the prophecy. They try again to deter him, saying that all he thinks about is impractical, which, for a moment, almost convinces him. He mourns that his family's name outshines his own identity. Despite others' attempts, he keeps contemplating the feeling inside of him. His brother finally says that if Adakias leaves, he will hunt him down and make him suffer the consequences. While Adakias tries to convince him that this feeling is real and could be tied to his destiny, Pallis asserts that it will lead him to destruction. Adakias finally makes up his mind to leave, despite his brother's objections. The Narrator then tells of Adakias in the city of Light, where disguised as a citizen he sees Princess Anhura (Greta Salpeter), whom the Narrator describes as having similar feelings of dissatisfaction as Adakias.[9]

It's True Love (ft. Greta Salpeter): Adakias (Thomas Dutton) and Princess Anhura (Greta Salpeter) confess their love for each other, sharing their feeling of being destined for something bigger. Adakias doesn't tell Princess Anhura that he comes from the Dark, afraid that this might scare her and make her run away from him. Decided to marry, Adakias and Princess Anhura go to her father, so that Adakias can ask him for his daughter's hand.

Meet the King (ft. Greta Salpeter and Nic Newsham): King Malka (Nic Newsham) suspects Adakias wants to marry Princess Anhura just for his throne and his jewels, and even though Adakias tells him he really is in love with Princess Anhura and not interested the slightest in his throne or jewels, King Malka doesn't approve of the marriage, afraid Adakias might rob him of his throne and suspicious of the Dark he sees in Adakias. The Narrator tells that Adakias and Princess Anhura decide to marry in secret, but suddenly Anhura starts to feel nauseous and weak. Adakias knows why she's feeling sick: it is his presence; the Dark in him is affecting Anhura's body. He still doesn't tell her he comes from the Dark world and decides to bring her to a specialist on the other side of the mountain, in the Dark world.

Holy the Sea (ft. John Gourley and Kris Ayana): Adakias and Anhura stop by the Bawaba Brothers (John Gourley and Kris Ayana), who tell them there was once a boy from Adakias's family who destroyed part of the world, turning it into the Dark world. Adakias understands this is the prophecy he has heard about and is now sure he is the chosen one who will fulfill it. The Bawaba Brothers tell them to beware of people who act friendly but who really are wicked. Adakias and Anhura leave the Bawaba Brothers and arrive at the Doctor's (Shawn Harris) shack. The Narrator tells how Adakias and Anhura are suspicious of him, even though he acts cordial.

Doctor Doctor (ft. Shawn Harris): The Doctor (Shawn Harris) tell Adakias and Anhura he can cure her disease, but also that there is a price to pay: he will cure the Princess only if he can keep her there for him and his pleasure. Anhura doesn't want to, but Adakias convinces her that it's the only way she can be cured and tells her to do what the Doctor says. The Doctor cures her, but the happiness doesn't last long because Adakias' brother, Pallis, bursts through the door and challenges Adakias to prove his love for the Princess.

The End and the Beginning (ft. Greta Salpeter and Brendon Urie): Adakias and Anhura tell Pallis how many marriage propositions the Princess had received throughout the years and how she still chose Adakias over all the other rich men she could have. Pallis asks the Princess if she knows where Adakias spent his youth and Adakias finally tells Anhura that he comes from the Dark world, but that it doesn't change the way he loves her. Pallis can't stand that their love is not broken yet by the revelation of Adakias' origins and tries to stab Anhura, but Adakias gets in the way and gets stabbed trying to protect the Princess, essentially sacrificing himself to save his bride. Pallis immediately regrets his actions and wishes for his brother to be strong and not give in to death. Pallis tells Adakias he's sorry for not seeing his brother was the chosen one to fulfill the prophecy, but Adakias forgives him, telling him his destiny is now fulfilled. He tells Pallis and Anhura that his gift to them is to "Live for your love everyday." He holds Anhura's hand and tells her not to cry for him and he dies. The Narrator tells how the mountain disappears and how the two halves of the world finally reunite, and that although "we lost Adakias, we regained our Science." He ends his narration telling who is listening to pass on the story to other people and to never stop believing in love and hope.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Thomas Dutton. 

# Title Featuring Length
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
iTunes Bonus Tracks
# Title Length
14. "Genesis" (acoustic demo) 3:29
15. "Toba the Tura" (acoustic demo) 3:23
16. "Meet the King" (acoustic demo) 3:40
17. "Genesis" (alternate ending) 1:07

Album personnel

  • Thomas Dutton - vocals, guitar, bass, percussion, trumpet
  • Paul Dutton - other instruments
  • Rudy Gajadhar - drums
  • Casey Bates - producer

References

  1. ^ "Finally!" Forgive Durden blog post by Thomas Dutton. September 29, 2008.
  2. ^ "Forgive Durden overhauls lineup, records new album." Punknews.org. January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "Album Stream." Forgive Durden blog post. October 24, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d "A conversation with Forgive Durden's Thomas Dutton." Alternative Press website. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
  5. ^ "Open the floodgate." Forgivedurden.com. January 27, 2008.
  6. ^ "i almost forgot!" Forgive Durden blog post by Thomas Dutton. September 29, 2008.
  7. ^ Razia's Shadow product page at the Fueled By Ramen webstore. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  8. ^ Absolutepunk.net Exclusive "The Spider and The Lamps (ft. Max Bemis)" stream. October 21, 2008.
  9. ^ Alternative Press Exclusive "The Exit (ft. Brendon Urie of Panic At the Disco, Dan Young of This Providence)" stream. October 21, 2008.

External links


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