Italian female-fronted symphonic power metal band, REASONS BEHIND analyze 'Track By Track' their 2015 debut album "The Alpha Memory". Hailing from Bologna, Italy, Reasons Behind are a quintet formed in 2010.
"The Alpha Memory" was produced by Olaf Thörsen (Vision Divine, Labyrinth), and mastered by Stefano Morabito at 16th Cellar Studio, Rome, It. (Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour of Penance, Subhuman). The album artwork was designed by Gustavo Sazes (Angra, Kamelot, Arch Enemy, Amaranthe).
Reasons Behind have shared the stage with Secret Sphere, White Skull, Ancient Bards, Evenoire, Temperance, and many more in their native homeland.
Introduction: "The Alpha Memory' is our first full-length, and is a concept album that tells the story about memories, and their link to identity. Thanks to a long lost melody, the main character starts a journey inside her mind and discovers forgotten pieces from her past. Every track is a chapter of the story, and we tried to analyze the importance of memories in our life, in understanding who we really are…until the end when…well you have to read on and listen to know how the story goes!"
A Broken Melody (intro)
This intro is one of the tracks from the album “The Alpha Memory” you can't properly consider as a real song, although it contains a small yet complete piece of music (the melody from the music box). In this track we introduce the main character, an old woman with a long lost secret in her mind, a secret that seems to be linked with that mysterious melody: no specific details about her or where she may be, just the rain outside and few words she suddenly remembers.
Under The Surface
The main riff of this song is the first one ever written for the album, on a summer holiday in Greece. We started from the music box sound of the intro and added some dance synth, because we wanted a less operatic sound. Then it was quite a complicated songwriting process, and since it was the very first song of “The Alpha Memory”, we wanted to pave the way with this track. It's a song about doubts and fathomless feelings, so you can find different moods in it: energy, intimate parts with clean guitars and a soft voice, power metal riff and some breaks.
The Chemical Theater
It's the fastest song of the album, a mix of different metal styles (power, speed, a bit of prog, blast beats from extreme metal) to tell a tale about feelings that come and go at the speed of light. We wanted to create the same sense of confusion of our protagonist, when her reminiscence starts and suddenly everything around her melts in a chaotic theater of sensations. Even when we wrote the solos, we decided to forget melody for a while and just follow this scenario of confusion.
With Your Light
“With Your Light” is the first single of the album: it's the longest and probably the most complex song you will find on “The Alpha Memory”. The woman finally remembers where that lullaby comes from, she gets a glimpse of a son she can't find trace of in her memory and starts asking herself many questions about him. During this part you can listen to just the piano and our beautiful singer's voice, as the key changes several times in order to paint all her feelings and doubts, until the moment when there's nothing but silence...before the solos and the final chorus. The fading out of the piano in the outro represents the memory of her son that slowly slips away.
Starlight In The Shades
After a thriller movie style intro, this song gravitates between hard and soft passages, as she tries to cling to every memory about her past, every sparkle that can help her lighting the darkness in her mind. We worked on overlaying vocals in nearly every part of the song, in order to create the right atmosphere: if you listen to this track through your headphones, you may have the sensation that you're surrounded by all her thoughts, as you follow her through her insight journey among memories.
On Butterfly Wings
This ballad is a less than 2 minutes; something different for a standard album release since there's no verse, no chorus, no repeating melodies. However, it's a key point of the story, the passage between the two parts of the concept: at first the main character tried to understand what's going on inside her, but from this moment on she finally becomes aware of the situation. Along with the other ballad, the title track, we think it's one of the most emotional episodes of this album.
The Ghost Under My Skin
(Gabriele) “The Ghost Under My Skin” is my favourite song of “The Alpha Memory”: it all began when I hummed the chorus' vocals...after 48 hours I had already written the lyrics and all the parts for the instruments, except for the drums. Everything came out so naturally, that I always felt a special link with this song. About the story, the main character finally gets a glimpse of her disease and tries to describe it in a melt of rage and desperation, so we switched between a thrash metal style riff, mid tempos and more melodic parts (the chorus and the two solos) in order to follow her moods through her discovery.
1000 Fading Lives
In this song we travel again through different moods, from the dance synth in the intro, to the symphonic style riff that ends the track. Moreover we wrote different versions of every riff, so you will notice that the first verse is quite different from the second, even if they're made up of the same chord sequence. The same applies to the pre-chorus: since this tracks talks about life as repeating circles, we wanted to describe it with a piece of music made of repeating patterns.
The Alpha Memory
The title track is a ballad with no particular technical passages, nor rich arrangements. It's the most dramatic episode of the story, because she understands that her flash of conscience is fading away, that she's forgetting everything again, so she tries to fight her disease, balancing between fear and desperation. Even the solo part is not very complex: no fast scales, no shredding, but we think it's a very emotional chapter, so speed did not really matter ...we just wrote what we felt.
In The End? (outro)
The story ends at its beginning, with the same scene, the same music box, the same lullaby, but with a bitter taste. There's not much to say, in terms of songwriting, but if you live the story through the whole album, this track won't be underestimated.
Reasons Behind is:
Elisa Bonafe - Vocals
Gabriele Sapori - Guitars
Dario “Dige” Trentini – Keyboards, Piano
Enrico “Goya” Menozzi - Bass