One of the differences Mirror Covenant is trying to bring to rock music is to be more novelistic. A song can be compared to a poem, and a concept album to a short story. What we are attempting is to move up a level in scope, using a series of concept albums to achieve the complex long term settings and large focus of a novel, as opposed to the single setting of a short story or the intense focus of a poem.
One difficulty of the series is that, like the novel, it takes time to present the whole "story" to the audience. Further, releasing the albums one by one spreads the presentation itself over a large span of time, making it critical for the songs and album concepts to stand alone. Someone buying the third album in the series must be able to appreciate it on its own merit, with the larger meanings as icing on the cake.
Another difficulty is that the time factor brought on by the novelistic approach can lead to criticism that things have been left out, especially in the early albums. Some people expect things immediately which properly belong later in the work. The time factor can be even more problematic because the music is Christian. The Church has grown used to distinguishing between secular and sacred music by looking for a specifically Biblical theme like evangelism. To have a song that does not mention Jesus by name is to invite being condemned for being too secular.
The goal of self contained songs rules out using songs which would have meaning only within the context of the album. Jesus' parables are true in both earthly and heavenly meaning. This standard makes the process more difficult by raising the level of quality each song must possess. Foregoing 'bridgework' songs also makes it more difficult to construct a coherent album concept.
Another difficulty is that the album concepts are implied by the overall context rather than being sharply drawn. In other words, the songs do not necessarily read like a simple story. For many people, the intuitive connections that join the songs into a 'plot' will seem almost invisible, even with the descriptions this website contains. This is why we have chosen our particular target audience. For example, the connection between Asylumthink and Sky of Smoke is not something a typical ten year old will be able to grasp, and this is hardly the most subtle relationship we draw.
This difficulty is heightened by use of multiple formats to communicate the overall meaning. It requires an adult's power of abstraction to understand how a particular sequence of images in a video, for example, relate not only to that song's lyrics, but also to that of the other songs. An example of this would be in the video of The Dark Wall, where there is a sequence of alternating images between a door opening into utter darkness and one opening into blinding light. These images connect to the lyric of Art of Pantomime,
"I exist with two dark ends
Time's journey runs between.
Baby what's it like
To come suddenly on the scene?
Dead man, dead man,
Tell me what it means to leave."
but if a person cannot grasp the connection, even when this explicitly drawn, what could be done to help them see the far larger web of relationships among the material across entirely different albums?
If you have navigated around this site a bit, you know there is a lot of effort dedicated to explaining how things tie together. But even this site, with hundreds of pages and links, barely begins to detail out everything. Life is complex, and an art form that tries to reflect life will be as well. What is required is that the audience has lived enough to understand how the world operates. Then our work becomes a trigger to spark relationships already inside you.
"Inspired by the ecstatic prescience of the glories beyond
the grave, we struggle, by multiform combinations
among the things and thoughts of Time,
to attain a portion of that Loveliness whose very elements,
perhaps, appertain to eternity alone. And thus when by Poetry...
we find ourselves melted into tears - we weep not then... through excess
of pleasure, but through a certain, petulant impatient sorrow at our inability
to grasp now... at once and forever those divine and rapturous joys, of
which through the poem... we attain to but brief and indeterminate glimpses."
Edgar A. Poe