Twenty years ago, Eric Levi, a French rock guitarist turned soundtrack composer, unveiled a new musical project to the world. ERA’s first song Ameno blended electronic beats with choral chants and dramatic vocals and became an instant hit wherever it was heard. You’d say it went viral, but nobody used that word in 1997. Today, that signature song is more popular than ever, thanks to its rediscovery by a new generation of YouTubers and martial arts fans, generating millions of views on YouTube. ERA’s subsequent six albums have sold more than 10 million copies around the world, awaking spiritualty and a dimension of mysticism wherever it is heard.
To mark the 20th anniversary of that first hit, the French composer, producer and musical visionary has created a new masterpiece. The 7th Sword, his seventh album, combines inspiring new songs with old favourites, rearranged and reimagined, remixed and rebooted for a new age and a new audience. It also showcases the stunning vocal talent of Syrian singer Racha Rizk, who brings her personal experience to bear in an emotional interpretation of 7 Seconds, that was a hit for Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry in 1994.
For Eric, the emotional heart of the album lies in two new songs featuring Racha. The album concludes by her inspirational rendition of I Believe, a song Eric was first commissioned to write for Pope Jean-Paul II nearly two decades ago, backed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
The opening Hurricane lays a Giorgio Moroder-style electronic groove over a liturgical chant from the Latin Mass, while Agnus Deorem blends another ecclesiastical chant with her soaring, celestial vocal, underscored by sweeping strings. A third new song, the energetic I Fall For You, features the singer Amoria.
Staying true to ERA’s globally successful formula, and continuing Eric’s 20-year collaboration with British choirmaster Guy Protheroe, The 7th Sword also includes a powerful new remix of Ameno and a strong driving electro remix of pop hit Kilimandjaro.
True to his calling, Eric’s aim on The 7th Sword is to surprise his listeners by freeing himself from musical boundaries. “As a rule, I try never to follow the musical frameworks imposed by times and cultures,” he explains. “I am always looking for strong emotions through the process of writing music.” “My intention is to create the soundtrack of a great epic movie that has been not yet directed.”
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