New Music Is Available!

So … when I’m not writing, it seems, I’m writing music. Whilst The Redemption of Erâth has been on pause for a few months, I’ve been revisiting some music I created between 2019 and 2021 – an album of symphonic metal called Despair.

Recently, I upgraded the orchestral sample libraries I use, and re-recorded all five tracks of the album using EastWest’s phenomenal samples and sound engine. Whilst the final result may not sound exactly like a live orchestra, it’s (in my mind, at least) pretty damn close.

So without further ado, I present to you: Despair, a suite of orchestral heavy metal in five parts, channeling the deepest, darkest emotions of human nature!

1: Depression

Depression is the first track from Despair, opening with quiet strings and horns, building to crescendo before the crushing heaviness of the metal band comes crashing in. Segueing to a softer, melodic verse section, things eventually take off with pounding guitars and drums, intertwining a full orchestra through rises and falls until a heavier recapitulation brings us to the outro – soft and quiet again, building into a sudden wall of orchestral noise and a thundering drum punctuation that leaves on a cliffhanger, waiting for the next track.

2: Anger

Bursting in with furious strings and brass, Anger ups the pace and energy tenfold, a full orchestra blasting away until dropping out suddenly to allow for the metal band to take over with churning, grinding riffs. Never giving in to a slower beat, the song carries forward in a kind of scherzo-and-trio format, building to a climax before a middle section that leads again with devastating riffs, before recapitulating to the opening. Finally drawing to close with every instrument at full tilt, Anger is a crushing ode to unbridled fury.

3: Fear

Opening with a rumbling, unsettled bass line, Fear is deliberately the most disjointed piece of the suite, wavering between numerous time and key signatures throughout. There are moments of melody interspersed between longer passages of chromatic atonality, but the overall mood is one of anxiety and unsettled, indescribable fearfulness.

4: Grief

Almost entirely orchestral (the band comes in only briefly at the very climax of the piece), Grief takes us through a journey of pathos and heartbreak, with sweeping strings and devastating horn lines drawing influence from the raw emotion of the greatest of classical composers – Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and more. From the soft, distant opening to the thundering timpani that bring the song to a heaving climax of sadness, Grief will tug at your heartstrings and (hopefully) give you chills at all the rights moments.

5: Despair

The epic conclusion and title track, Despair opens with a hammering timpani roll and huge, crashing chords from the band and full orchestra – nearly a full two minutes of opening to a 20-minute track that winds through many layers of instrumentation before coming to a quiet close halfway-through, only to burst back into life with grand horns and strings sustaining the melody over churning guitar riffs. Through a varied development we finally return to a grand reprise of the opening, announced with a huge gong crash, before moving on to the closing of the song, and the album, with a revisiting of the very opening of Depression, bringing the full album to a close.

Returning to Erâth

On Sunday, I tried moving a large bookcase, and ended up severely hurting my back. I’ve been to the chiropractor three times since, but in the meantime, I find myself unable to sit, stand, or move, and have been more or less laid up in bed for the past four days. At first, I spent most of the time sleeping, trying to ignore the pain in my lower spine, but as the days wore on I found myself getting progressively bored, and in need of something to distract myself from the agony I’m currently in.

Back in March I published the second of my contemporary YA novels, The Broken, and found myself wanting to turn back to the stuff that started it all: fantasy, and The Redemption of Erâth. Although I have three books completed in the series, there are still four to go, and it’s taken me ten years to get this far, so if I don’t hurry up and keep writing, it might never get finished.

I’ve been working on and off on the fourth book for a while, actually – I’m about eight chapters in at the moment – but progress has overall been fairly slow. I have the basic outline and plot laid out, and really at this point it’s just a question of getting words down on paper (I really could have used NaNoWriMo as an excuse to get this done, but really I find excuses to not get things done if we’re being totally honest). But since I have the rest of this week on my back, and next week off from work (a short vacation that didn’t pan out, so I’ll be staying home), I feel like I have an opportunity to actually get some of this writing done.

Alongside writing the continuation of The Redemption of Erâth, I’ve started to give some thought to who I want to be as an author. As Satis, I write Lord of the Rings-inspired high fantasy, and have done for the past 10 years. In that time, I’ve really garnered no true readership, a smattering of reviews, and I can count on one hand the people who’ve told me they actually really like the story. (This isn’t to say I don’t believe in the story, but really has more to do with my inability to market it well.) On the other hand, I’ve done reasonably well with my contemporary YA, written under my real name – particular my first novel, 22 Scars.

This has led me to wonder what the best way to gain readership for The Redemption of Erâth is. I’m not having much success selling the books, or even with giveaways, and given the serial nature of the story (it’s really one huge story that takes place over the course of seven novels), I’ve started to think that I might want to return to the original idea behind the story: posting bits of it each day or week online for people to read for free. After all, I’m not in this for the money, and really would simply like to know people are out there, reading my work.

To that end, I’ve decided I will publish the entirety of The Redemption of Erâth online, for free, through Wattpad, Inkitt, and here on WordPress. I will start by uploading the first five chapters of Book One, Consolation, later today, and the remaining chapters will be uploaded on a semi-regular basis (every few days, I think at the moment). Once we get caught up to where Book Four is so far, I’ll start posting completed draft chapters as they come.

I’m excited to see if people are interested in this story again, as they were back in 2012 when I first started writing and publishing drafts of the first volume! I’ve learned a lot about writing since then, and I hope that my skill as an author has improved, but most of all I just want people to be able to read my writing as easily and accessibly as possible. The books will remain on Apple Books and Amazon to purchase, both digitally and in print, but for those of you wanting a free fantasy story, it will be here for you as well.

Once the first chapters hit, feel free to let me know what you think – I always value criticism and feedback!

The Redemption of Erâth: Win Free Books!

So it begins – the third volume of The Redemption of Erâth is now officially available for sale on Kindle, Apple Books and in print, and I’ll be hosting a week-long launch party over at my Facebook page! I can’t wait to see you there, where we’ll be discussing fantasy, fiction, literature and more.

To begin with, I want to announce that I’ll be hosting giveaways all week long, but most importantly, you can win a free copy of all the Redemption of Erâth books to date in print – just by participating! Everyone who takes part in the Facebook launch event, whether by commenting, posting, sharing or otherwise, will be entered to win a free print edition of all four books – ConsolationExileAncients & Death and History of Erâth!

So head over to Facebook now, drop me a line, and let’s get started!