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"I've been waiting a lifetime to show you
You're returning to heaven like dust to dust."
Ashes to Ashes
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Silverthorn is the tenth album by Power Metal band Kamelot. It is their first album to feature their third singer Tommy Karevik, replacing Roy Khan who was in a way the Face of the Band up to that point. It is their third Concept Album and among those the first to not be part of the Epica Album Series.

    Concept 

Spoilers Ahead

Set in Victorian Britain, the story of Silverthorn focuses on two twins who are the offspring of an important English noble family. In their childhood, both are responsible for the death of their sister Jolee, who drowns in a river while playing with her brothers. They never tell their parents, who are devestated by the disappearing of their beloved daughter, the mother even dying of grief some time after her going missing. Their father, on the other hand, becomes more and more violent, especially towards one of the twins, Robert. Soon, Robert leaves the family and disappears without a trace.

The unnamed other twin (who is the narrator of the story) soon inherits the family’s estate after his father dies a mysterious death, and marries a woman named Aurora. But even in his life as a nobleman, he never is able to forget what he did to his sister. One day he goes to church and confesses his crime, believing that he now will be forgiven. But the tragedy is only just at hand, as the same day, his long lost brother Robert returns, having gone insane in his years of absence, killing Aurora at the estate.

As his brother returns, Robert makes people believe he actually is him and his brother is the one who murdered his wife, resulting in the unnamed protagonist being imprisoned for Robert’s murder and Robert impersonating him and in doing so taking over the family’s belongings. The narrator now sits in prison, going insane and hearing the singing voice of an angel that is reminiscent of his dead sister, comforting him and singing him to sleep. Robert, on the other hand, lives a life of fortune and luxury, but still never becomes happy, since all he ever accomplished was a result of a web of falsehoods.

In the text book of the deluxe edition, it is also mentioned that after some time in prison, the protagonist is released because of the priest to whom he confessed declaring that he was at his church at the time of the murder, therefore giving him an alibi. The priest waited with this declaration because he felt like the protagonist had to serve a sentence for his crime first. As a result of the protagonist being freed, Robert’s masquerade is finally uncovered and Robert is brought to trial.

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Tracklist

  1. "Manus Dei" (2:12)
  2. "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)" (4:39) - feat. Elize Ryd and Alissa White-Gluz
  3. "Ashes to Ashes" (3:58)
  4. "Torn" (3:51)
  5. "Song for Jolee" (4:33)
  6. "Veritas" (4:35) - feat. Elize Ryd
  7. "My Confession" (4:34)
  8. "Silverthorn" (4:52)
  9. "Falling Like the Fahrenheit" (5:05)
  10. "Solitaire" (4:56)
  11. "Prodigal Son" (8:52)
    • Part I - Funerale
    • Part II - Burden of Shame
    • Part III - The Journey
  12. "Continuum" (4:17)

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I've prayed for salvation and tropes for ages:

  • Abusive Parents: The father of the twins is this, especially towards Robert.
  • Album Intro Track: "Manus Dei".
  • The Atoner: The protagonist.
  • Being Evil Sucks: The point of the whole story. Even though Robert achieves all of his evil goals, he will never be truly happy because he is a „slave under the belt of misery“.
  • Beneath the Mask: After making people believe that the protagonist is him and killed his wife, Robert takes on his persona and lives a wealthy life under his name. Noone notices it.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: After Jolee's death.
  • Bookends: The two instrumentals "Manus Dei" and "Continuum".
  • BSoD Song: The title track is this as a result of the protagonist seeing his twin again.
  • Call-Back: One melody serves as a leitmotif which leads to several callbacks throughout the album.
    • The first verse of "My Confession" is a sung version of the spoken word passage in "Manus Dei".
    • The instrumental bridge of "Song for Jolee" can be seen as a callback to "Helena’s Theme" on the Epica album, featuring a similar orchestral arrangement like said song and also being about a beloved woman/girl drowning in a river.
  • Carpe Diem: The theme of the bonus track "Leaving Too Soon", drawing a conclusion on the album’s story.
  • Character Development: The protagonist lives with the guilt of being responsible for his sister’s death without anyone knowing about it. Striving for forgiveness, he breaks the silence after years by confessing his crime.
  • Children Are Innocent: No they aren’t.
  • The Climax: The title track is this, marking the turning point in the story as the twins meet again and Robert's plan unfolds.
  • Concept Album
  • Creepy Children Singing: There’s one at the end of "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)" and a choir of them in the bridge of the title track.
  • Darker and Edgier: The story is this in comparison to the Epica Album Series story, leaning more towards the genre of mystery and containing things like brutal murders, the death of a young girl, and the imprisonment of the protagonist.
  • Downer Ending: Even though the deluxe edition text book provides a happy ending, it isn’t told in the album itself. Instead it closes with Prodigal Son as last song with lyrics, making it seem like the protagonist is still in prison by the end of the story, which makes a fairly strong example of this trope.
  • Epic Rocking: "Prodigal Son", being just a few seconds shy of the 9 minute mark.
  • Evil Feels Good: Averted into oblivion. Robert gains nothing by his evil deeds.
  • Evil Gloating: Robert on "Veritas".
  • Evil Plan: Robert plans to kill his twin brother’s wife, make people mistake them for each other, imprison his twin brother for the murder and take his place as the owner of the family’s estate.
  • Evil Twin: Robert to the protagonist, obviously.
  • Face on the Cover: Kamelot are fond of having female faces on their album covers. This one‘s no exception.
  • Female Angel, Male Demon: Averted with "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)", both the angel and the demon being female, the former sung by Elize Ryd and the latter being impersonated by Alissa via growls.
  • Freudian Excuse: Robert suffered a horrible childhood because of his father being increasingly violent towards him after Jolee’s death. It leaves him bitter and evil, eventually returning to his family’s estate to kill his father.
  • A God Am I: Robert on "Veritas".
  • Grief Song: "Song for Jolee".
    • Also, the beginning of "Prodigal Son".
  • Guttural Growler: A rather unusual case of female growls, performed by Alissa White-Gluz, on the song "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)", and some growls in the background just before the last chorus of "Ashes to Ashes", provided by producer Sascha Paeth.
  • How We Got Here: The first song "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)" takes place after the rest of the story when the protagonist is already in prison. It goes full circle after "Falling Like the Fahrenheit", with "Solitaire" taking place during the time the protagonist is in prison, but from the perspective of Robert who is free but not really happy either.
  • Hidden Track: There’s a short hidden cello solo after two minutes of silence after the final track "Continuum", playing the main theme of the album.
  • "I Am Becoming" Song: "My Confession", with the protagonist finally trying to resolve his past by confessing what role he played in the death of his sister.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted by Jolee’s death.
  • Instrumentals: "Manus Dei" and "Continuum".
  • "I Want" Song: "Veritas".
  • Jekyll & Hyde: One interpretation of the story suggests that Robert and the protagonist are actually one and the same person.
  • Leitmotif: The Silverthorn theme is one.
    • It can be heard hummed during the spoken word part at the end of "Manus Dei".
    • In the title track it’s the chorus.
    • "Falling Like the Fahrenheit" cites the melody in the bridge.
    • A cello solo rendition of it serves as a Hidden Track at the end of "Continuum". It starts at exactly the same time like when the melody appears in "Falling Like the Fahrenheit".
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to its precursor Poetry for the Poisoned.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: Robert is the victor by the end of the album's story, but he doesn't gain any happiness from it.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Veritas", a dark and brooding song, has a very soft, folky bridge with Elize Ryd doing the vocals. It vanishes as sudden as it appeared as the final chorus breaks in.
  • Murder Ballad: The whole thing is one.
  • No Name Given: The protagonist has no name. Maybe his true name is Robert and his twin brother doesn’t actually exist.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Song for Jolee" and "Prodigal Son".
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: On "Manus Dei" and "Veritas".
  • One-Word Title: "Sacrimony" (if you don’t count the sub-title "Angel of Afterlife"), "Torn", "Veritas", "Silverthorn", "Solitaire", "Continuum".
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Robert kills his father as a revenge for years of physical abuse.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Played straight to a degree that makes you suspicious.
  • Power Ballad: "Song for Jolee".
  • The Power of Acting: Robert takes on the role of the protagonist and noone notices it.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: The prayer the protagonist says at the beginning of the album, leading directly into "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)" which as well serves as a prayer for the titular angel.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Robert on "Veritas".
  • Redemption Quest: The protagonist's attempts to be forgiven for the death of Jolee.
  • Redemption Rejection: The protagonist thinks he is free from his sins after having confessed in church. Turns out the real ordeal is actually ahead of him, meaning years in prison before he can truly be forgiven.
  • Rock Opera
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)".
  • Split Personality: Maybe.
  • Spiritual Successor: In some ways, this album is one to The Black Halo, considering the placement of some songs like "Song for Jolee" (as a spiritual successor to "Abandoned"), the title track (as one for The Black Halo’s title track) and "Prodigal Son" (as one to "Memento Mori").
  • Spoken Word in Music: The prayer at the end of "Manus Dei''.
  • Straw Nihilist: Robert.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Between the protagonist and his evil twin brother Robert.
  • Synchronisation: Both twins burn a tatoo saying "Veritas" into the skin of their backs, reminding them of the truth of Jolee’s death and that it must forever remain a secret.
  • Title Drop: An indirect one in the title track: "A thorn made of silver".
  • Twin Desynch: Robert and his twin are very similar up until Jolee’s death. After that, their father mainly abuses Robert, making him become more and more bitter, insane, and straight up evil. By the time they meet again in the title track, they’ve become Polar Opposite Twins.
  • Unreliable Narrator: An extreme case where a lot of things can be questioned due to the story being told by one of the two twins who never even tells his name.
  • Villain Song: "Veritas" is the most obvious example.
    • Other songs sung by the villainous Robert are "Ashes to Ashes", "Falling Like the Fahrenheit" and "Solitaire". The second verse of "My Confession" also seems to be sung by him, even though the rest of the song is from the protagonist’s point of view.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "Torn" falls into this trope, making it kinda hard to place in the storyline.

"Life is a flower, fading away. We are not destined to stay."
Silverthorn
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