The Music

The Count, Act I, The Soul of a PrisonerReleased in April, 2009, the band’s first album “The Count, Act I, The Soul of a Prisoner”, is the first part of an ambitious progressive-metal concept piece, that retells the classic revenge story, “The Count of Monte Cristo”, the tale of an innocent youth, caught in the gears of political intrigue by others jealous of his good fortune. Told in epic format, the story begins and ends in the cell where our hero is imprisoned, most of the action taking the form of flashbacks to earlier events that lead Dantes to inevitable conclusions, and move him inexorably toward an eventual escape and revenge.


TWENTY3FIFTY9: The Count, Act I - The Soul of a Prisoner

No flash player!

It looks like you don’t have flash player installed. Click here to go to Macromedia download page.

… And now, here for your listening enjoyment is the entire CD in streaming mp3 format. Remember, if you would like to have your very own copy, CDBaby now sells the CD in both physical and mp3 download-formats, just follow the link to the right!

Powered by Flash MP3 Player

THE STORY

THE COUNT is a retelling of the story of Edmond Dantes, a young sailor who runs afoul of jealous and greedy men, for no other reason than having been seemingly blessed with good fortune. These three men conspire to have Edmond brought up on charges of treason as an agent of the emperor-in-exile, Napoleon Bonaparte. This plan nearly unravels when Edmond is brought to the palace of justice, for the young official—Gerard Villefort—sees this ruse for what it is, and decides to set Edmond free, but at the last moment learns that the letter is addressed to his own father, and instead—to save his own family from potential ruin, if this fact were ever to be made known—elects to send Edmond away to the dreaded island prison known as the Chateau D’if. Here, Edmond spends many years in a dark cell, eventually making contact with another prisoner, with whom he might escape his prison, and from whom he learns of the existence of a magnificent lost treasure buried on the rocky and uninhabited island of Monte Cristo. Eventually, Edmond affects his escape from the Chateau, and with the help of new allies, locates the buried treasure, and makes himself over as the mysterious and powerful Count of Monte Cristo, in whose guise he sets out to enact terrible revenge upon the men who conspired against him.

ACT I – THE SOUL OF A PRISONER tells the first part of our story in epic format; beginning and ending in the cell where young Edmond has been imprisoned. All the action in the story takes the form of flashbacks to earlier events which as a whole describe how Edmond came to his current station, ending with his having given up completely on the justice of man, and crying out “GOD WILL GRANT ME JUSTICE”.

ACT II, to be released at a later date, will tell the next part of the story, beginning with Edmond’s escape from the Chateau D’if, his acquisition of new allies and wealth, the birth of his new persona, the Count of Monte Cristo, and his pursuit of vengeance upon those who selfishly stole 14 years of his life…

I. Overture 1815 (Instrumental)

France, 1815. It is a time of civil unrest. The former Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, now rules only a small island off the Italian coast, while Bourbon royalty in the person of Louis XVIII, once again controls the throne in Paris. This is the story of Edmond and Mercedes, a story of love, greed, jealousy, betrayal and revenge. The story of a prisoner who will one day become known as the Count of Monte Cristo.

II. Darkness

Locked in the darkness of the Chateau D’if, an innocent by the name of Edmond Dantes rails against an unjust imprisonment, and dreams a future for which he can barely hope.

Here in the dark
I can’t see the walls but I feel their oppression
Here in the Dark
I can’t hear the voice of my angel calling
But there is a spark
I don’t know the score but I swear my obsession
Here in the dark
I will be free

Why? What is my crime
That men would put me in chains?
Certainly, some mistake has been made
And soon they’ll release me?
Can it be? That I without knowing,
Am forsaken by god
He’s damned and pushed me away?
What have I done?

Here in the dark with my memories
No one to answer, or suffer my pleas
Dark is my vision, dark is my mind
Darkness my spirit this time

Here in the Dark
I will become an agent of vengeance
Here in the dark
I’ll sharpen my mind and steady my soul
For I know the mark / Feel the oppression
And they’ll crawl for me one day / hear my obsession
Here in the dark / agent of vengeance
I swear … I will be free

III. Betrayed

Knowing not the reason for his captivity, Edmond replays what he does know over and over in his head, and thinks: “I am Betrayed…”

Silent
As my feet on Elba’s shore, she crept upon my soul
Unhappy fate had found her paramour
Unseen
She wrapped me in her arms, my innocence undone
My dark companion with me evermore

Amidst the raging of the sea
My captain, dying, gave to me
His final will to carry out
And Elba’s Marshal see

My word of honor did I swear
The exile’s fortress did I dare
My captain’s missive in hand
And fate, I met her there

Betrayed
Unwitting, drawn into intrigue in my naivety
As everything goes wrong
I fall
Deep and ever deeper, but don’t understand
And the dark queen looks on

Marshal and Emperor both do appear
The dark queen takes my hand
Spectral Fate calls out my name
And I, by she, am damned

Leaving one letter and taking the same
Returning to the sea
Casting off, we sail away
And Fate, she follows me

IV. Homecoming (providence part 1)

Now we leave Dantes to his reverie, and turn the clock back three months to see “The Pharaon”, as she returns to port in Marseilles. It is there, Mercedes awaits…

Gulls wheel above as she comes round the key
Slow crawls le Pharaon, in from the sea
A vague disquietude hangs in the air
Yet constant and sure she is handled with care

And the mate tells the tale of what’s gone before
Of the death of his Captain, and the Emperors shore
And the ship owner, grateful, and kindly of late
As gift, makes the Captain, our proud former mate
And he cried …

Providence smiled, and granted to me
All that I’d prayed for and set out to be
Where will it take me, I walk in the dream
Providence smiled

Well the mate-become-captain, he hurries on home
To visit his father who lives all alone
Then visits a girl that he loves more than life
To ask once again, for her hand as his wife

And they whisper together as lovers will do
The thoughts in their heads just the two of them knew
And dreamed of a future of joy and of light, and
Look toward the morrow, their own wedding night
And they dreamed …

V. Believe (providence part 2)

Later that evening, Edmond and Mercedes separately rejoice in their good fortune, and dream of their impending wedding celebration. This will be the greatest day of their lives. Or so they believe…

Sleep eludes me
Barely contained, my spirit
Soars with the wind

Dawn paints the morning sky
Brilliant with colors I’ve never seen
With mystery And majesty

And It’s hard to believe
Today all our dreams come true
Tomorrow will be
Forever just me and you

So long have I dreamed / So long have I prayed for
This moment surreal / This night, this day
A madness of longing / I feel complete
And the fears slip away

I need to believe
The dream is finally real
I’ve got to believe
I can finally feel

Winter is over, and spring fills the air
Feel the sun on your wings
Like the birds in the sky, are our hearts without care
These pale next to your touch
My love

Dare to believe
We can do anything
Now is our time
If you believe

Providence smiled, and granted to me
All that I’d prayed for and set out to be
Where will it take me, I walk in the dream
Providence smiled

VI. Conspirators (providence part 3)

Meanwhile, in a dark corner of a nearby tavern, three men speak in low voices. And they like Dantes not. Danglar, the vengeful shipmate, Fernand, would-be suitor to Mercedes, and Caderousse, the jealous neighbor of the Dantes family. Dangerous men, all, Conspirators.

Down from his vantage, with jealousy’s eyes
Brooding and spiteful, and chewing his lies
A once hopeful suitor, now love’s bitter foe
Silently nurses his hate as it grows

She is everything I want, and everything I need
Her heart should be mine!
She gives everything to him, sees everything in him
SHE WILL BE MINE!

I’ve loved you forever
Your voice makes me catch my breath
Each made for the other
In life or in death

I’ve waited a lifetime
And I’ll not be made the fool
Yet Dantes controls the stage
What more can I do?

I hate a man whose life is too easy
Take him down a notch, if you please
I see a boy, quite above himself
I know the way, I will make him pay, he will be sorry that ever he ever climbed over me

He as my captain, I will not abide
Give me a crook or a shill on my side
Someone to blame, someone to bend
Someone unhappy with our little friend . . .

Listen, my unhappy friend, you will see
It’s not quite so hopeless as things seem to be
With Dantes disposed of, his bride can be yours
You just have to know how to open the doors . . .

She is all that I want, and everything I need
Her heart should be mine!
This is my time, this is my place
SHE WILL BE MINE!

I’ve got a secret, I’ve got a plan
And this little problem will soon be in hand
We dare not attack him directly it’s true
But secrets may work their magic for you
You’ll get the girl and our Dantes is through!

VII. Trapped

The conspirators have had their way, and Edmond is brought before a young official at the Palace of Justice—Deputy Procureur du Roi, Gerard Villefort, A young man of influence, but otherwise not unlike Edmond himself. They are each, in their own way, trapped.

He stares out the window, as steel skies give way to black
No moon tonight, smoky street lamps light the way
His is the weight of judgment and like many times before
Ponders the price one has to pay

An honest man, and dutiful, with aspirations high
He seeks the truth

Turning, looks once more unto the case at hand
An anxious young man, high treason accused, by nameless accusers
He seems an open and ingenuous lad
Wide-eyed and without fear

An honest man, and dutiful, with aspirations high
He seeks the truth

Trapped in a world of deception
With no easy way out
Is this the end or will our young friend find his way home in the storm?

Who and what are you, I demand
What is your age
Tell me at what you were engaged
this day

Sir, my name is Edmond Dantes
And I am nineteen
First-mate-made-Captain, of the Pharaon, and this
Is my wedding day

Asked what he knows, Edmond recounts the tale again
The dying words of his captain, the visit to Elba, the letter in hand
The passage home, the Captaincy, Mercedes
“The rest you know”

Give me the letter you speak of and all will be fine
You’re no traitor, of that I am sure
Pale eyes consume the words of the marshal
He smiles as his plans fall into place
Tell me, where was this missive bound?

MM Noirtier, Rue Coq-Huron, Paris

All at once, at the sound of this name
A frisson of fear fills his mind
A tempest of justice and the specter of ruin
As the reign of innocence dies

Trapped in a world of deception
With no easy way out
Is this the end or will our young friend find his way home in the storm?

Back in the present again, a cold calm fills his mind
He sets the marshal’s letter to flame, “this will protect you”, he lied
He feels the weight of judgment like he never has before
And ponders the price one has to pay

An honest man, and dutiful, with aspirations high
He seeks the truth

VIII. One Hundred Days (Instrumental)

As Dantes awaits justice in the darkness of the Chateau D’if, the world outside is thrown into political turmoil as Napoleon once again marches on Paris. Edmond is forgotten. The One Hundred Days have begun.

IX. Awaiting Justice (darkness part 2)

Having come full circle, we return Edmond once again in the darkness of the Chateau D’if where our story began. Many months have passed, and Dantes has given up on the justice of man, calling out instead for god to grant him the justice he has thus far been denied.

It darkens my spirit, as hope fades away, they will not release me
Am I not innocent? Pride tells me so, is nobody listening?
I pray for an answer, there’s nothing but silence
What in the world, my mysterious crime?
As hours to days, my life’s slipping by me
These days are eternal, yet racing through time.

I call out my questions to uncaring walls, still no one can hear me
What have I done, still no one will say, and doubt fills my soul
Cry out in anger, to echoes and vermin
The shadows encroach just a little bit more
I turn to the wall where I’ve carved my salvation
And slowly I scratch out my prayer once more

Here in the dark I await, justice’ calling me
Here in the dark I will call out your name
Here in the dark, dreams of justice are calling me
Here in the dark I see

I’ve nothing to hope for, nothing to lose, and nothing to gain
Each moment is lost an unending stream, they’re all just the same
My cries go unanswered, I’m lost in the darkness
Outcast of man, and fallen from grace
Penitent, anguished, I reach toward the heavens
And plead for deliverance, or vengeance in it’s place

Here in the dark I await, justice’ calling me
Here in the dark I will call out your name
Here in the dark, dreams of justice are calling me
Here in the dark I see

God will grant me justice!

X. Finale

Providence smiled, and granted to me
All that I’d prayed for and set out to be
Where will it take me, I walk in the dream
Providence smiled

She is everything I want, and everything I need
Her heart should be mine
She gives everything to him, sees everything in him
Why won’t she love me?

Providence smiled, and granted to me
Everything I’d prayed for, everything I’d need
The Devil may take me but victor I’ll be
Providence smiled

… and so we close our story on Edmond Dantes for the time being. He will spend the next dozen years in darkness. And he will dream of vengeance. And in these dreams the Count of Monte Cristo is born.