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Composition parallels between IV and V?How the first few songs mirror each other


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#1 ggl3dde


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Posted 03 October 2016 - 02:46 PM

I finally got around to listening to Act V (loving it more than IV atm) and I noticed that the first few songs kind of copy, and even inverse, one another between the two albums.

Namely (with IV listed first then V)

1) Rebirth / Regress - this one is perhaps the most obvious and easiest to expand upon example, especially when you consider how similar the titles are. Rebirth goes from the expected a capella into a symphony, showing the birth from familiar into unfamiliar. Rebirth reverses it, starting with a symphony and ends with a capella but still has some symphonic elements, perhaps to show it's not been total regression.

2) The Old Haunt / 'The Moon / Awake' - both are relatively rocky and have a chorus with lots of extra vocals to provide harmony, and both have an extended build up into a huge climatic moment

3) Waves / Cascade - similar theme in their titles again while also providing what I can best describe as 'beach music'. Cascade however seems to deviate more from this theme though.

4) At the End of the Earth / 'The Most Cursed Hands / Who Am I' - both start with relatively quiet intros and have a particular rock/prog focus

5) Remembered + A Night On the Town / The Revival + Melpomene - this could be seen as the first deviation in terms of song order and how both albums have been relatively similar, except when you consider these two in pairs. Remembered and Melpomene are both lighter tracks and Night on the Town and The Revival are both high energy, trumpet blasting songs. It just happens that IV ramps into it whereas V ramps down from it by reversing the order of the pairing.

6) Is There Anybody Here? / Mr. Usher - both songs are blues influenced, but whereas "Anybody" takes cues from Pink Floyd who are said to incorporate blues, "Mr. Usher" is quite obviously a blues song.

7) The Squeaky Wheel / The Haves Have Naught - the last parallel I can possibly make before stretching the concept thin, but both have a more musical quality to them, "The Haves" being more literal in this regard.

After the Bitter Suite, however, the similarities seem mostly relegated to the titles (The Line / The March, Ouroboros / A Beginning) and story elements.

Part of this, I'm sure, is that I'm reducing the songs down to the lowest common denominator so of course there's going to be similarities (what TDH song doesn't have layered vocal harmonies?), but I cannot help but feel this wasn't accidental.

So as someone who hasn't fully caught up on the story, is this all seemingly intentional?

#2 FrankTheHermit


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Posted 03 October 2016 - 08:09 PM

Well, Casey has acknowledged before that some of the albums follow a similar progression within the tracklisting. For example, the introductory track on each album is usually cryptic, theatrical, and vocal-focused (Battesimo del Fuoco, Writing on a Wall, Rebirth, Regress). The first track after the intro songs is usually a fast-paced heavy hitter song (City Escape, Procession, In Cada Venenum, The Old Haunt, The Moon). Obviously, there are other parallels to be made as well. Not all of them, seem to serve a purpose for understanding the plot, but some of them probably do. I think the motifs and reprises throughout the albums help tell the story more than these parallels, but that's just my opinion.

#3 Severus and Stone

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 11:15 AM

The parallels go to different songs too. I noticed that the end of "The King of Swords" is the same as the end of "The Most Cursed of Hands" and "The March", which ties those three songs together as defining how being Mayor cursed him.

"The March" has the exact same motif as "The Old Haunt" (that one's the most obvious)

And there are several other repeated themes from older albums. I love how "Moon" and "A Beginning" have the same ending!

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