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1- Rhythm and Narrative in Zero Hour’s ‘The Falcon’s Cry’ - Patrick Armstrong, McGill University

4:00 PM, Friday 24 May 2019 (2 hours)
This paper analyzes progressive metal band Zero Hour’s song ‘The Falcon’s Cry’,focusingon how metric structures, meter changes, and metric subdivisions are used throughout the song to create an organic, through-composed form with a clear climax. Metric structures are used throughout the song to create tension and release and to mirror the tone and narrative of the song’s lyrics.
While much has been written on meter in progressive metal music, most of these writings focus on the particularities of the metric structures themselves rather than how they relate to the form as a whole or the lyrical narrative. The work of Brad Osborn (2010, 2011, 2013) will have key relevance to my analysis, as he presents analytical models and terminology relevant to the rhythm and form in this music and valuable for the relating of the two parameters to one another. My analysis will incorporate elements of his theories, expanding them to suit the analytical challenges presented by the song.
Zero Hour’s ‘The Falcon’s Cry’ demonstrates an intricate interweaving of lyrics, form, and rhythmic structure. The rhythmic and metric structures within the song’s musical form both accentuate and enhance the profound emotions evoked by its lyrics, creating a musical narrative that channels its lyrical material in a complex way. This song demonstrates Zero Hour’s deep understanding of the relationships between rhythm, meter, form, and narrative, and the ideas presented in this analysis would be pertinent to many other songs in their discography.
University of Ottawa
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