Despite its unusual and unique title, there are many people who have not heard of the theatre musical themed album "Razia's Shadow." Released in 2008 by the band Forgive Durden, the album is both a theatre and music lover's dream with its all-star cast and gorgeous storytelling through its two acts.
Wanting to go in a new direction for his then upcoming album, Thomas Dutton was inspired by a love of musicals and Disney storytelling, and as a result, starting composing and writing the story that would become known as "Razia's Shadow." However, Dutton, true to musical form, knew that he needed a cast to help perform and bring the fantastical, mystical world to life. Among the album's singers, Dutton recruited Brendon Urie (Panic! At the Disco), Greta Salpeter (The Hush Sound), Aaron Weiss (mewithoutYou) and Max Bemis (Say Anything).
Throughout its 13 songs, two separate but connected stories of two men's downfalls unfold through masterful storytelling set against a glorious musical score. Without giving too much of the plot away, the first act tells the story of O the Scientist (played by Casey Crescenzo) and his creation of the world. During this, he gives life to Ahrima (Thomas Dutton) and Nidria (Lizzie Huffman) who will make you swoon with their love for one another and cry when the beautiful creation of this new world would be fated to be divided by selfish and egotistical decisions. The second act of the story is largely inspired by the power of true love and the ultimate quest to reunite the divided world after its separation by the darkness and hatred introduced into the land.
Now, if you're still unsure of whether or not to give this throwback, though new to many, a try, consider the following: the entire album tells a continuous story which appeals to the narrative and theatre nerd in many of us. Dutton, who, at the time, was the sole member of the band Forgive Durden, constructed an entire world and musical score with the help of his brother Paul Dutton. This arguably leads up to one of the most interesting musical albums and not to mention an awesome sibling team up. Dutton also brought together 14 bands on the album, which features an array of vocal ranges as well as other bands to fall in love with. Also, for those Panic! at the Disco fans out there, we get a younger Brendon Urie playing the villainous older brother, Pallis, who is determined to keep the fated prophecy from unfolding.
If you feel like giving this album a try, the album can be found on Spotify and YouTube in its entirety. For now, here's the opening song, enjoy!