|Lyrics © by Henrik ‘Zar’ Larsen Music © by Peter ‘Syrinx’ Andersen Originally created in 1985 with later alterations – first perfomed live at Toldkammeret, Elsinore 1988|
Another Edgar Allan Poe story. This was my very first stab at an “epic” story for the band, writing the first draft way back in 1985 and taking two more years to complete it. I’m very pleased with the version on the CD, as this is the first time we’ve included the full lyrics, including the Poe quotation right after the main solo.Zar
Prologue: “The Red Death had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal or so hideous. Blood was its avatar and its seal – the redness and the horror of blood.” (E. A. Poe)
Oh, Prince Prospero / He got a great idea The bolts of iron welded / He slammed the door to Hell The party can begin now / Who cares of death or doom? The tripods at the windows / alight the coloured rooms.
– Chorus: – The pest cannot reach us So put on your mask of madness and beauty
From the hall of Velvet / a clock of ebony brings momentary endings / to all the melodies The chiming in the silence / will freeze the merry dreams but as the echo’s dying / the music swells again
– Chorus: – The black hall is calling The clock striking twelve: The hour of midnight…
Narrator: “A new guest seems to have appeared. He’s dressed in a blood-stained shroud, and before his face he bears the mask of The Red Death. Solemnly he proceeds, and a nameless, chilling fear strikes the dancers where he passes by.”
Prospero: “Who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? Seize him and unmask him – that we may know whom we have to hang, at sunrise, from the battlement!” (E. A. Poe)
He’s walking through the chambers / from blue to green to black. And no-one dares to follow / when Prince Prospero attacks. A scream! – At last they enter / the prince is lying dead They tear the mask of paper / revealing emptiness.
– Chorus: – And now they are falling In death and decay Dominion of darkness