My favorite song by Turisas, and one of my favorites of all time. It may be sometimes overlooked because of its length, but it deserves as much recognition as possible, The song tells the story of the fall of the Byzantine Empire, and expands upon this to work on the definition of history itself. The stars and moon, feared by the singer, are common Islamic symbols, and refer to the overthrow of the Byzantine Empire by the nascent Ottoman Empire, a "new power on the rise." The "walls" referred to as falling are the Theodosian Walls, which protected Constantinople for 1000 years before falling to the Ottomans.
Personally, my favorite lyric in this song is "As long as you spend / There is more for you to lend / Someone always saves us in the end." This represents to me the fiscal disaster that the Empire became during the last few emperors after the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, and the apathy that they sank into. As a student of history, this apathy is familiar as that of the Western Roman Empire, Venice, and numerous other once-great powers that were either abandoned by their allies or simply pummeled to a pulp, and at the end simply resigned themselves to their fate.
Other lyrics throughout the song express disbelief at the fact that the Empire has fallen, and that their time "ended so fast"--in fact, the Ultimus Romanorum was the last vestige of one of the longest-lived empires in history, and its fall showed that everything must end. The final choruses, soaring and majestic, are incredibly powerful as the last gasp of a dying empire, and the silence that follows them carries enormous symbolism. The End of an Empire is a tragic, majestic thing, and I think Turisas has done an amazing job conveying this in their song. Read more →