Black Orchid Empire take us through new album Tempus Veritus track by track

Black Orchid Empire have a fantastic new record called Tempus Veritas out and here we’re taken through the album track by track!

Tempus Veritas is a concept album of historical fiction – each song has a theme based around a moment of what is commonly agreed upon as history. We loved exploring this idea whilst writing the album, and we’re really proudof the songs that came out of it. Here’s a breakdown of what each song on the record is about.

01 – Tempus Veritas

The opening of the record is an instrumental piece we started working on together mid-way through the writing process. We thought it would be a cool way to set things up – like the opening scene of a movie. It’s very cinematic, with the main 9/8 guitar theme building to a big crescendo at the end to set up the real start of the record.

02 – Hydrogen
We all love the heavy-hitting riff of this song, and the verse is one of my personal favourites. It’s more post-rock in feel than metal, inspired by bands like Deftones and Thrice. The story is about the Hindenburg disaster, written from the point of view of an imaginary Saboteur. He decides not to go through with the plan to destroy the vessel, but is discovered and, in the struggle, a single spark ignites the hydrogen-filled atmosphere, destroying the famous airship after all. One nice touch we enjoyed working on was having the theme from the album opener coming back as a riff section.

03 – The Raven
After the Danish Vikings began raiding England in the 9th century, many sought long-term settlement – they were farmers who saw an abundance of rich, fertile land in the hands of the Saxons. The Raven is written from the point of view of such a settler who, after many years in a foreign land, is struggling with the feeling of losing touch with the old gods of his former home.

04 – Last Ronin
This is one of the more prog-influenced songs, and is inspired by the 16th century legend of Miyamoto Musashi, the most renowned swordsman in all of Japan. The lyric deals with the idea of completing your life’s work, and realising that you have defeated every enemy – except for those of age and time. Musashi passed his knowledge on to his apprentice seven days before his death in the form of his master work The Book Of The Five Rings.

05 – Scarlet Haze
This song is from the point of view of the first human in space – Yuri Gagarin. In his final moments aboard the test flight on which he would ultimately lose his life, he contemplates the stars above him – realising he will never reach them again. This is the most epic and spacious track on Tempus, and we can’t wait to play it live!

06 – Deny The Sun
In the mid 17th century, the prominent astronomer and scientist Galileo was encouraged by his friend Pope Urban VIII to publish his findings on the idea of heliocentrism – that the sun was a central body around which our world orbited. However, when the work was published, the public theological outrage forced the Pope to denounce Galileo and condemn him to trial. This song explores the inner turmoil of Pope Urban in those moments, as he realises he cannot support this radical new idea, even if he suspects it to be accurate.

It’s also one of the earliest songs we wrote for the album, with the main riff emerging even before the release of Semaphore.

07 – Glory To The King

This song explores the relationship between an early Meso-American emperor Montezuma and the explorer and conquistador Hernán Cortés. The story, told from the point of view of Montezuma, imagines that the new arrival was initially seen as a god – assumed to be the deity Quetzalcoatl. When Cortes cuts himself and is seen bleeding, the mirage is shattered and the Aztec ruler goes to war with the people he now realises are merely men.

08 – Summit

Before the successful Everest attempt by Edmund Hilary there were many that failed. This song is about the mysterious deaths of two climbers – one whose body was never found, the other whose pickaxe head injury has never been explained. The story imagines the madness and snow-blindness the pair succumb too just south of achieving their life long ambition.

09 – Weakness

Based on the legend of the Holy Grail, this track takes place inside the mind of a Knight Templar who’s beginning to doubt the authenticity of the relic he’s sworn away his life to protect. It has one of the most pop-influenced choruses on the album, and also one of the heaviest breakdowns.

10 – Vesuvius

Inspired by the preserved devastation of Pompeii, this song is about a raving vagrant, convinced he has foreseen the end of the world. Refusing to believe his mad babble, the people lock him up, only to quickly find out that his prophecy was in fact accurate.

11 – Latimer

Written from the point of view of Hugh Latimer, a Protestant bishop burned at the stake by Queen Mary I, this song deals with the period in time after the death of Henry VIII. In an attempt to bolster the anti-catholicreformation movement, we imagine Latimer hoping for a martyr’s death – one which would ultimately help seal the fate of the first queen’s failed attempt to return to the beliefs her father renounced, and confirm her place in history as ‘Bloody Mary’.

Elizabeth Birt

April 26, 2023

Band management assistant. Goth princess and lover of all things music and sport.


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