Earlier this week, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell teased the title track from The Promise on his Facebook page and the song was released in full earlier today.
The Promise is a historical drama set during the final days of the Ottoman Empire in 1914. The Promise was written by Terry George (Hotel Rwanda, Reservation Road, The Shore) and Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Memoirs of a Geisha, Matilda) and was directed by George. The film stars Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac and Charlotte Le Bon and their respective characters are entangled in a love triangle as the Ottoman Empire crumbles around them.
The Promise will be released on April 21. Watch the movie trailer here.
This isn’t the first song Chris has written for a movie. He previously wrote songs for Great Expectations, Machine Gun Preacher, Casino Royale and The Avengers. It was a close friendship with Eric Esrailian, the producer of The Promise, that brought forth Chris’ involvement with the film. Due to marrying into a Greek family, Chris felt a personal connection to the themes of the movie. "If it’s something you or your family members went through, it’s something you’re faced with confronting on a daily basis,” Chris shared in a statement.
Chris sought to simultaneously tell the story of the film, but to also connect it with present day atrocities.
“The film and plot are your band mates and the song has to be true to the story and the characters in it,” he added. “’The Promise’ to me is mainly about paying homage to those we lost in the Armenian Genocide, but it’s also about shining a light on more recent atrocities. The same methods used in the Armenian genocide were used to carry out crimes against humanity in Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda and right now in Syria on multiple fronts, contributing to a massive global refugee crisis. Unfortunately, the words ‘never again’ seem like just words when we recall these mass executions of the twentieth century, as well as renewed racism and prejudice around the world. Even in the US, the warning signs - isolating groups based on race and religion - are evident. We really need to tell these stories and keep telling them in as many different ways as we can. As humans, we have a tremendous capacity to trudge ahead in our lives and not look at the difficult and challenging moments… but I think it’s important. Educating ourselves on the past is the best way to understand the present and avoid future atrocities by understanding and intervening. We must educate and stand as one to combat this fear and violence, and as citizens of the world, work to protect each other’s human rights.”
Watch the moving lyrical video for “The Promise” below.
Chris Cornell "The Promise"
Using clips from the film along with lyrics from the song to create the video, Chris' powerful voice shines through the 24-piece orchestra.
"The Promise" is available for purchase on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify. Chris is donating his proceeds from the song to the International Rescue Committee, which "responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future."sin