Spoilers ahead. If you haven't heard the original album that is. And if you haven't then shame on you. Shame. On. You.
That being said...
Every single Gandalf’s Fist album has been a concept album. We love having the opportunity to tell stories. Obviously, in more recent times, the story behind the album has been fairly explicit with narration tracks adding an extra dimension to the experience, making it really clear to the listener where they are in the yarn! However, with some of our records the story underpinning the concept has perhaps been somewhat of an enigma.
So now we’re delving back into a new version of the album, perhaps it’s about time we had a jolly-good look at the plot of the original release.
It is fairly obvious that the story is a re-imagining of the wizard of Oz. Originally, this started as a bit of a Joke. I loved the idea of how people would try and sync up Pink Floyd to the 1939 film and thought it would be a fun experiment to see what would happen if a band actually tried to do that on purpose.
That experiment ended pretty quickly (please feel free to try and sync it up though. I’d be intrigued to see what happens). A vestige, an homage to that original inspiration remains on the album, with some fairly blatant nods to the Floyd and DSOTM.
What remained was a concept relating to setting the classic tale in a Science-fiction setting. (A move we’d repeat with the follow-up album “From a Point of Existence “ where we transposed JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit into the world of Blade Runner!)
Road to Darkness starts off with the Character of Lucy Venti (and if you’re looking for some serious foreshadowing here, Venti are the Roman gods of the Winds) taken from earth by an unknown cyclone of immeasurable power. She finds herself waking up on Io, Jupiter’s sulphur-yellow moon.
Lucy encounters the strange magics of the Wizard Anderson, who refuses to return her to her home. To compound matters the insane Sorceress Kelaino peruses her into the antijovian hemisphere. That’s what fancy-pants-scientists call the side of Io that is always facing away from Jupiter. There, Lucy finds herself surrounded in complete darkness. Yes. She is on the dark side of the moon. Of course she is.
Eventually after an immeasurable time wandering the dark wastes, she finds the border to the subjovian hemisphere again. As she passes through the gate and witnesses the twilight reflected from the huge gas planet for the first time in years, she heads off down one of Io’s vast sulphur highways towards Anderson’s Prometheus tower. Seeking revenge.
Upon the road, she meets a whole host of strange creatures, all of which have been lost as long as her. There she meets captain Samuel Wrangler. Essentially a space pirate. He offers her passage on his vessel away from these untrodden ways aboard his vessel. However by this point, Lucy’s mind is so focused on revenge she refuses. She senses she is close to the end of the road.
She eventually reaches Anderson’s great tower and witnesses the council of the city in process, a great rebellion against the wizard is taking place. They have come to suspect that the sorcerer has no real power at all and has ruled the moon by fear, smoke and mirrors. Anderson quashes the uprising, not by magic, but by fire, burning the city to the ground and destroying himself in the process.
All that remains on the smouldering moon are Lucy and the rabble of lunatics she has encountered on the road. They stand and watch Jupiter fill the sky before descending below the horizon.
All sunshine and daisies.
Obviously the story remains unchanged for the re-issue, however we've added some cool elements (and a new character!) to help enrich the story and bring it to life - I think you'll love it!