Chicago-based electronic-orchestral artist Matthew J Van Howe introduces his new album, Legend of the Galactic Princess. Imagine Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars scored by Vangelis, and you’ll have an idea of what Van Howe’s exceptional music sounds like.
Essentially, Van Howe merges the elegance of classical music with dark electronica, creating dramatic soundscapes rife with the electrifying leitmotifs concomitant with space opera.
Legend of the Galactic Princess chronicles the adventures of Azell’a, who, one thousand years ago, battled and lost to her evil arch-nemesis, Drakot’a. Since she could never truly die, Drakot’a dispersed her pieces in sacred data collection sites throughout the galaxy. For the next millennium, Drakot’a and his reptilian empire ruled the galaxy.
Reborn, Azell’a regathers her pieces for the final day of reckoning, intent on destroying her archenemy, thus liberating the galaxy and redeeming herself.
Matthew J Van Howe attended Trinity Christian College, studying choral arrangement and classical piano, two elements materializing in his sound. After releasing several EPs and singles, in 2014, he released his debut album, Transmogrify, shaped by the muscle of industrial rock.
He followed by expanding his creativity, directing a film, Voice of the Vespers, designing a board game entitled Hadrian’s Line, and working as a musical director and choir director. In 2020, he returned to composition, releasing Emergent Narrative and an improvised piano album, Memories Otherwise Forgotten.
Legend of the Galactic Princess comprises 11-tracks, beginning with “Awake From Thy Tomb,” opening on sepulchral colours latent with savours of miraculous resurrection. Chanting filtered vocals imbue the tune with mystical intonations.
Highlights include the spine-chilling “Jungles of Syroolya,” travelling on mysterious layers of colouration topped by canticle-like vocals. Elegiac flavours permeate “Her Greatest Loss” with the haunting sensation of lamentation. Rippling synths imbue the song with weeping hues.
“Beneath the Dust” rides spiralling industrial tones, laden with dark sonic shadows as a filtered, electronic voice narrates the melancholic episode. Percolating, lustrous accents provide the harmonics with nascent patinas of portent.
“Reborn the Warrior” blends hints of dance rhythmic pulses with soft glitters of streaming residual energy, culminating in surging wavelets of momentum. The final track, “Waterfalls of Dymoora,” features a radiant, emerging intro rolling into majestic sprays of luminous pigments, sparkling with glittering umlauts of colour.
Grandly conceived and replete with complex Churrigueresque melodies, Legend of the Galactic Princess parallels the superlative soundtracks of Guardians of the Galaxy and God of War.
Listen to ‘Legend of the Galactic Princess’ – BELOW: