Not all were born to do great things. Not all are worthy to be mentioned in the history books and their names to be repeated throughout eternity. But for a select few, those who are born under a guardian star, that very immortality is within reach.
Wötan: The Untold Story is Andres Guazzelli‘s first long-playing album, following his debut EP “Wish You Could Hear” (2013), based on the novel of the same name.
While technically considered, in the lack of a better term, a rock opera, Wötan is heavily influenced by renaissance and medieval music, as well as progressive and symphonic rock, and epic film scoring. The album is 1 hour and 45 minutes long, spread across 2 CDs and it features an eclectic contrast between a symphonic orchestra and the edginess of modern instruments. Celtic anthems, joyful fiddles, norse lyres, epic percussion ensembles, furious guitar lines, angelic choirs, 70s synthesizers, and the sheer power of progressive songwriting, everything together in an album of epic proportions.
By Andres’ own admission, Wötan is closer to a movie without image than a true rock opera or a concept album. I call it a rock opera because i find no better way to call it. In terms of storytelling, recording & mixing techniques and overall sound, wötan is approached closer to film sound design than as a regular album. Besides the music, wötan features considerable dialogue, character interaction, ambient, sound effects, battle scenes, footsteps, foley, and most sonic aspects youll find on a movie. It is a blend of musical production and audio post-production for films, in terms of technique. It is, truly, a movie without images. You can close your eyes, and it would be no different
Its main plot revolves around the tribulations and struggles of its main character, Wötan, a Germanic tribal warrior whose Achillean quest for eternal glory and inmortality jeopardizes his tribes own survival, when the world as he knows it is on the verge of disappearing. The story, first written in 2004, takes place mainly in continental Europe, more specifically in the northern city of Aachen and the southeastern most region of Bavaria circa 783 AD during Charlemagnes rule of the Frankish Realms; and the tribal societies borrow certain characteristics from ancient societies like Saxons, Vikings, Ostrogoths, Gauls and other Celtic and Germanic groups.
Aesthetically and musically wise, Wötan draws inspiration from musicals and rock operas such as Les Miserábles, Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy, Lamb lies down on Broadway, and from epic films such as Troy, King Arthur, Centurion and Lord of the Rings.
The physical release will be accompanied by a 400-pages-long novel, which further explores details absent in the album and expands the Wötan universe.
Wötan: The Untold story is not Andres first international collaboration. Having already worked with British musicians Colin Tench and Andy John Bradford, Finnish artists Petri Lindström and Pasi Koivu, Marco Chiappini from Italy, Stef Flaming from Belgium and Americans Robert Wolff, Victor Tassone and Blake Carpenter. Wötan features a worldwide ensemble cast of singers and musicians, yet giving special emphasis to local artists. More than 70 artists from 25 different countries have already confirmed their participation.
The album is currently under production and hopefully will see the light of day by mid 2016. The Overture is announced to be released on Friday, September 18th, 2015, and a new single will follow every 6 or 8 weeks. The official and definite cast will be announced soon.