Night Castle is the fifth album release for the orchestra styled band brought together by Paul O’Neill in 1996 with Jon Olivia, Robert Kinkel and Al Pitrelli.
Night Castle is the fifth album for Trans-Siberian Orchestra and only the second with a non Christmas theme even though many of the song have a strong holiday like sound. The album released on October 27, 2009 and includes 26 songs on the 2 CD album including a version of “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff.
Other songs on the two CD set include several remakes from Savatage songs that Trans-Siberian Orchestra developed from as a band. The group not only includes the four main members of Paul O’Neill, Jon Olivia, Robert Kinkel and Al Pitrelli but has a host of other performers that are part of the orchestra.
Each of the songs follow a story in the accompanying pamphlet that is included with the CD album but is not really necessary to enjoy the songs. Trans-Siberian Orchestra has a unique and different type of music that sets the group apart since its first songs and album.
Even with the songs they are remaking they add their own style and unique enthusiasm to music and the art that makes for great entertainment. The groups’ style is heavily influenced by older classics such as Beethoven and Bach but with the heavy metal and classic orchestra instruments to liven things up.
While I don’t really enjoy heavy metal this is one album that is enjoyable as they play such a blend of music that it really does not take on any one genre. The story is one that is probably forgettable as the music is in itself worth listening to without having any clue what the theme or story of the album is.
In other words they may have tacked on a story to create a flow and piece the songs together but it’s not necessary to enjoy the songs. Trans-Siberian Orchestra does come through again with this album in a highly enjoyable electric guitar, full orchestra meld to create an enjoyable if darker album.
The story is a wartime theme with the darker and more sorrowful plots of men off to war and a captured officer who sends notes home wishing his wife will receive them. The war theme takes a look at a lieutenant in the conflict in Cambodia who finds a surprising ally while he is a prisoner after being captured trying to help his men escape an ambush.
When he tells someone at the prison camp of the daughter he has never met who was born while he has been at war his coconspirator vows to get word of the lieutenants’ plight if he does make it back home. The story continues but you are not going to get me to spoil it for you, you’ll have to buy the album to find out more.
Night Castle was long in development but turned out to be a very good album that has a great story and does well with the theme even if it is not really necessary to the enjoyment of the music. Night Castle is well worth the purchase price as an alternative to the usual Christmas themed Trans-Siberian Orchestra music and a great album.