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  • Ceremony Ceremony Quick View

    $18.99
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    Ceremony

    It begins with the sound of a church organ, an arpeggio played on the lower notes, a melody teased out in the higher register, before a snare drum beats out an ominous, stuttering tattoo. Three minutes in, guitars begin to rumble like clouds gathering on the horizon, the melody slowly swelling, threatening to tear the sky apart. This is Anna Von Hausswolff's "Epitaph Of Theodor", and as dramatic, instrumental openings to albums go, it's close to overwhelming. But it's followed by something even more intense: "Deathbed", which growls and resonates sinisterly before shards of metallic thunder shatter the drones and a funereal beat forces the song to lurch forward. Only after some four and a half minutes of this ferocious clamour do we hear a human voice, and it's unleashed with a fierce power, rising and swooping, a vast bird pursuing its prey until the song reaches its final, unexpectedly triumphant climax.


    You want to talk about compromises? No. Nor does Anna Von Hausswolff.


    These two songs alone represent a quarter of 'Ceremony's sixty minutes, but there are eleven more on an album that confounds and dumbfounds from its start to its end. To those who used Anna Von Hausswolff's debut album, Singing From The Grave, to compare her lazily to Kate Bush, it will come as a brutal shock. The fragile atmospheres of that impressive debut, one that earned her huge acclaim in her native Sweden, have been blasted away, and what's emerged from the wasteland left behind is a dizzying masterpiece that, she proudly states, calls upon, amongst others, Elizabeth Fraser, Jefferson Airplane, PJ Harvey, Earth, Barn Owl, Nick Cave and Diamanda Galás.


    Though she now lives in Copenhagen, she grew up in the once vibrant, bohemian neighbourhood of Haga in Gothenburg, Sweden, to a family who counted amongst their ancestors Bernhard Reynold von Hausswolff, an 18th Century governor of Falun, Sweden, who helped bring an end to the burning of witches. Her father, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, is a composer and visual artist who's also co-monarch of the kingdoms of Elgaland-Vagaland, so it's perhaps not surprising that she's chosen to pursue a radical direction with her music.


    "I didn't just want 'Ceremony' to be a collection of songs," she says. "I wanted it to be like a film, with every single part connected to the other, with shifting moods and settings, but a thread holding all the tracks together. I listen to a lot of film scores, and in many the music is able to move freely without the typical structures that we find in commercial music."


    Arguably 'Ceremony's most significant ingredient is the church organ of Gothenburg's vast Annedalkyrkan, whose pipes are featured on the album's striking cover. Employed on nine of the album's thirteen tracks, it also provided von Hausswolff with the excuse to record for five days in the century old building, its cavernous space adding to the record's formidable magnitude. (Work was completed at weekends over several months in producer Filip Leyman's studios.) She found in the organ's sound a link between her own writing and a developing obsession with "drone metal", allowing her to add layers of thick textures to the songs. But - thanks to its inevitable associations with existence and mortality - the organ also suited the themes that lay at the heart of the record, which she defines as "nature and death, or the division of humanity and nature. From the moment we exit the womb, we start our paths towards materialism and destructive behaviour, and these days I feel that the gap between nature and human is growing bigger. I wanted to grasp my inner nature and be unified with nature again. 'Ceremony' is a celebration of life and everything that it contains, especially death, because in death we will be truly one with nature again."


    That's not to say that 'Ceremony' is a bleak record, something highlighted by the extraordinary "Harmonica", which sounds like Dead Can Dance channelling a Vashti Bunyan song with arrangements by Ennio Morricone. "It's a song I wrote just after my grandfather passed away," she recalls. "It's about how culture and traditions can travel from generation down to generation, and in this case from him to me by music. Just before he died, he gave me a harmonica and he told me to practise hard and only write about things that are relevant to me. His deathbed inspired me to make 'Ceremony'."


    He'd surely be proud of the bold, single-minded consequences of his legacy. Whether it be the placid but grandiose "Ocean", the hymnal "Mountains Crave", the grim, experimentalist "No Body" or the oddly exhilarating "Funeral For My Future Children", 'Ceremony' is a genuinely thrilling, timeless, inventive and even sometimes - in the purest sense of the word - gothic accomplishment.


    "This record isn't really about Anna von Hausswolff as a vocalist or as a person," she concludes. "It's about the music and all that it contains. Singing from the Grave was a raw and emotional record that happened fast. I think of it as an impulse. 'Ceremony' is more of a vision: something unfinished and unresolved, a glimpse of the future."

    1. Epitaph of Theodor
    2. Deathbed
    3. Mountains Grave
    4. Goodbye
    5. Red Sun
    6. Epitaph of Daniel
    7. No Body
    8. Liturgy of Light
    9. Harmonica
    10. Ocean
    11. Sova
    12. Funeral for my Future Children
    13. Sun Rise
    Anna Von Hausswolff
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Lorca Lorca Quick View

    $21.99
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    Lorca

    Buckley's 1970 Asylum album once again available on vinyl. Continuing his jazz explorations, Buckley created the most 'out' album of his career. The 5/4 time signature title track is strikingly weird with haunted house pipe organ and two faster-paced numbers, the mellow contemplative love song 'I Had A Talk With My Woman' and the slightly funky blues-based 'Nobody Walkin',' are even fun. The band is Lee Underwood, John Balkin (bass, haunted house pipe organ on 'Lorca'), and Carter Collins (congas).
    1. Lorca

    2. Anonymous Proposition

    3. I Had A Talk With My Woman

    4. Driftin'

    5. Nobody Walkin'

    Tim Buckley
    $21.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Miraculous The Miraculous Quick View

    $22.99
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    The Miraculous

    A couple of years ago, the Swedish singer and organist Anna Von Hausswolff impressed the hell out of us with her gothic pop album Ceremony. Hausswolff has now announced a new album called The Miraculous, and it threatens to go even deeper. Von Hausswolff recorded the album on a massive pipe organ in Pitea, and first single "Come Wander With Me/Deliverance" sounds like a dark monument. The track lasts 11 minutes, moving from expansive gothed-out soundscapes to proggy doom metal.


    --Tom Breihan, stereogum

    1. Discovery
    2. The Hope Only Of Empty Men
    3. Pomperipossa
    4. Come Wander With Me / Deliverance
    5. En Ensam Vandrare
    6. An Oath
    7. Evocation
    8. The Miraculous
    9. Stranger
    Anna Von Hausswolff
    $22.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Adagio d'Albinoni (Awaiting Repress) Adagio d'Albinoni (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $39.99
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    Adagio d'Albinoni (Awaiting Repress)

    All Analogue AAA Recording


    Mastered by Kevin Gray from the Original Analogue Tapes


    Pressed at Pallas in Germany


    One of the most popular Gary Karr King Record Pressings Ever! The superior sonics of King's pressing and mastering techniques are reproduced in all of their analog glory.


    Gary Karr, acclaimed as the world's leading solo bassist (Time Magazine), is, in fact, the first solo doublebassist in history to make that pursuit a full-time career. It is a career that adds new lustre to his already lustrous 1611 Amati doublebass which was given to him by the widow of Serge Koussevitzky.


    Since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1962, Karr has performed as soloist on six continents with orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Simon Bolivar Orchestra (Caracas, Venezuela), Jerusalem Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and with all the major orchestras of Australia.


    Gary Karr performs on this release with Harmon Lewis on pipe organ for a group of classical pieces by Beethoven, Bach, and more.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751)
    1. Adagio In G Minor


    Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827)
    2. Sonatine


    Cesar Franck (1822-1890)
    3. Piece V


    George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
    4. Sonate No.9 In B Minor


    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
    5. Ave Maria

    Gary Karr
    $39.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Kol Nidrei Kol Nidrei Quick View

    $39.99
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    Kol Nidrei

    All Analogue AAA Recording


    Mastered by Kevin Gray from the Original Analogue Tapes


    Pressed at Pallas in Germany


    Gary Karr performs with Harmon Lewis on piano and pipe organ for a handful of classical pieces by Bach, Wilder, Koussevitzky, and others.


    The Kol Nidrei was the musical impetus that put Karr on the path toward a solo career. He first performed this music in a synagogue at the age of eleven and still considers it his most personal piece.


    Gary Karr, acclaimed as the world's leading solo bassist (Time Magazine), is, in fact, the first solo doublebassist in history to make that pursuit a full-time career. It is a career that adds new lustre to his already lustrous 1611 Amati doublebass which was given to him by the widow of Serge Koussevitzky.


    Since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1962, Karr has performed as soloist on six continents with orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Simon Bolivar Orchestra (Caracas, Venezuela), Jerusalem Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and with all the major orchestras of Australia.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    Max Bruch (1838-1920)
    1. Kol Nidrei, Op.47


    Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
    2. Prayer from Sketches From Jewish Life


    Serge Koussevitzky (1874-1951)
    3. Chanson Triste, Op.2


    Alec Wilder (1907-1980)
    4. Small Suite For Contrabass And Piano: Romantically / Quasi Jazz
    5. Scherzo, Op.12-No.2


    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
    6. Largo from Concerto For Cembalo No.5 in F minor, BWV1056~2nd Mov
    7. Deep River

    Gary Karr
    $39.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Surf's Up Surf's Up Quick View

    $34.99
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    Surf's Up

    33 1/3 RPM Stereo Only


    Stereo Mixes Produced By Mark Linett And Alan Boyd / Mixed By Mark Linett


    Audio Production - Mark Linett


    For Brother Records - Elliott Lott


    Mastered By Kevin Gray At Cohearent Audio, Most From The Original Master Tapes Or Best Sources Available


    Lacquer Plating By Gary Salstrom And 200-gram Vinyl Pressing By Quality Record Pressings!


    A musical legacy that began in Hawthorne, California and went on to conquer the world. Analogue Productions presents the ultimate pressings of 14 essential Beach Boys albums! Mastered by Kevin Gray, most from the original master tapes, and plated and pressed by Quality Record Pressings, the finest LP pressing facility in the world, these are awesome recordings to experience. And the look of each album befits its sonic superiority! Presented in old school Stoughton tip-on jackets, these time honored favorites shine brighter than the originals!


    Worth noting on Surf's Up is Stephen Desper's engineering work - the entire album was mixed to a center channel quad matrix that he was developing at the time.


    Surf's Up hit the Top 30 on its first release, reaching No. 29 on the Billboard LP charts - the highest chart placement the group had had since 1967. At the time of its release, Surf's Up was hailed by many as a comeback for The Beach Boys, who were beginning to attract raves for their live performances, including highly acclaimed sets at New York's legendary Carnegie Hall.


    Carl Wilson makes solid contributions on Surf's Up with Long Promised Road and Feel Flows, and the album also features stellar tracks by Al Jardine and Mike Love, as well as Bruce Johnston's most enduring composition, the gently nostalgic Disney Girls (1957), but the album's twin jewels are both from Brian Wilson - Til I Die and the title track - one of the centerpieces of the then-unreleased Smile (cowritten by lyricist Van Dyke Parks and here given that album's Child Is Father to the Man as a glorious coda.)


    Surf's Up track A Day in the Life of a Tree is the first in a series of Brian's songs that close the album. It's simultaneously one of Brian Wilson's most deeply touching and unusual compositions; he is the narrator and object of the song (though not the vocalist; co-writer Jack Rieley lends a hand), lamenting his long life amid the pollution and grime of a city park while the somber tones of a pipe organ build atmosphere. Til I Die, isn't the love song the title suggests; it's a haunting, fatalistic piece of pop surrealism that appeared to signal Brian's retirement from active life.

    1. Don't Go Near The Water
    2. Long Promised Road
    3. Take A Load Off Your Feet
    4. Disney Girls
    5. Student Demonstration Time
    6. Feel Flows
    7. Lookin' At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song)
    8. A Day In The Life Of A Tree
    9. 'Til I Die
    10. Surf's Up
    Beach Boys
    $34.99
    200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Royal Albert Hall Royal Albert Hall Quick View

    $37.99
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    Royal Albert Hall

    In May 2014 EELS embarked on an ambitious fifty-three show world tour. Starting in Phoenix, Arizona and crossing The United States and Canada before rolling through mainland Europe and Great Britain, the band performed spine-tingling shows at New York's Apollo, Chicago's Vic Theater, Los Angeles' Orpheum Theater, The Montreux Jazz Festival and The Amsterdam Concert Hall among many others. On the night of June 30th EELS returned to London's legendary Royal Albert Hall for the first time in nine years to play a stunning show that was filmed and recorded.


    In sharp contrast to the previous EELS tour that found the band in track suits playing high octane electric rock & roll, this EELS show was a gentlemen's EELS concert, as EELS leader Mark Oliver Everett, aka E, puts it. Filmed by nine cameras in the gorgeously-lit Royal Albert Hall, the new film and album find the EELS dapperly dressed in suits and ties, and all five band members stretching their musical capabilities past new boundaries, playing songs from 2014's critically-acclaimed THE CAUTIONARY TALES OF MARK OLIVER EVERETT for the first time along with songs spanning the EELS' 19 year career. When they played Royal Albert Hall in 2005 they were accompanied by a string section. This time there are only the five core members of the band on stage throughout the concert, splitting their time between guitar, piano, pedal steel guitar, trumpet, upright and bowed bass, melodica, vibraphone, timpani, drums, concert chimes and glockenspiel. And the results are stunning.


    The film features the band backstage preparing for the big night and captures the entire show from start to finish, as it happened, including Everett kissing the spot where John Lennon once stood on the stage, making his way to hug fans all the way around Albert Hall's massive floor, returning for several encores, as well as a surprise phantom encore where Everett's dream of playing the massive Albert Hall pipe organ for some spooky EELS classics finally comes true.


    Perhaps as a result of this fantastic show, EELS were quickly invited back for a second 2014 London show and Everett, once heavily-bearded and mistakenly suspected by London police to be a terrorist (while taking a break from press interviews in Hyde Park), was made an honorary citizen of London in a ceremony granting him Freedom of the City.

    1. Where I'm At
    2. When You Wish Upon a Star
    3. The Morning
    4. Parallels
    5. Addressing the Royal Audience
    6. Mansions of Los Feliz
    7. My Timing Is Off
    8. A Line in the Dirt
    9. Where I'm From
    10. It's a Motherf**ker
    11. Lockdown Hurricane
    12. A Daisy Through Concrete
    13. Introducing the Band
    14. Grace Kelly Blues
    15. Fresh Feeling
    16. I Like Birds
    17. My Beloved Monster
    18. Gentlemen's Choice
    19. Mistakes of My Youth/Wonderful, Glorious
    20. Where I'm Going
    21. I Like the Way This Is Going
    22. Blinking Lights (For Me)
    23. Last Stop: This Town
    24. The Beginning
    25. Can't Help Falling in Love
    26. Turn On Your Radio
    27. Flyswatter
    28. The Sound of Fear
    Eels
    $37.99
    Vinyl LP + DVD Box Set - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • I Robot (Awaiting Repress) (On Sale) I Robot (Awaiting Repress) (On Sale) On Sale Quick View

    $49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)

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    I Robot (Awaiting Repress) (On Sale)

    Alan Parsons Project I Robot on Numbered Limited Edition 180g 45RPM 2LP From Mobile Fidelity


    Perfectionism, Innovation, Complexities, and Reference-Grade Production Make Alan Parsons Project's Conceptual I Robot a Timeless Classic: Sci-Fi Arrangements Steeped In Drama and Moodiness


    More Music, More Information, More Detail, More Nuance, More Everything: Mobile Fidelity 180g 45RPM 2LP Set the Definitive-Sounding Analog Version of 1977 Audiophile Standard


    A Demonstration Disc for the Ages: Immaculate Highs and Lows, Supreme Spaciousness, See-Through Transparency, 3D Imaging, Wider Grooves on System-Testing Pressing


    Audiophiles needn't any introduction to the Alan Parsons Project's I Robot. Engineered by Parsons after he performed the same duties on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, the 1977 record reigns as a disc whose taut bass, crisp highs, clean production, and seemingly limitless dynamic range are matched only by the sensational prog-rock fare helmed by the keyboardist. Not surprisingly, it's been issued myriad times. Can it be improved? Relish Mobile Fidelity's stupendous-sounding 180g 45RPM 2LP set and the question becomes irrelevant.


    Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, and afforded the luxurious groove space of a 45RPM LP, I Robot comes to life like never before on this numbered limited-edition reissue. Boasting immaculate highs and lows, generous spaciousness, and see-through transparency that takes you into the studio with Parsons and creative partner Eric Woolfson at Abbey Road, this super-clean edition has been lovingly restored by Mobile Fidelity engineers with the intention of demonstrating the full-range capabilities of the world's best stereo systems. Put simply, there's more music, more information, more detail, more nuance, more everything.


    Savor reference-grade soundstages, immersive smoothness, sought-after instrumental separation, three-dimensional imaging, and consummate tonal balances. Able to be played back at high volumes without compromise or fatigue, the analog masterwork is a demonstration record for the ages - the likes of which are no longer being made. Longtime fans can finally rest assured knowing they don't have to pony up hundreds of dollars for older pressings - including three prior Mobile Fidelity versions on LP and CD. This is the very reason you own and invest in high-end audio gear.


    Inspired by and loosely based around the Isaac Asimov stories of the same name, I Robot delves into themes of artificial intelligence and technological dominance that make the record increasingly relevant in the 21st century. Indeed, Parsons' pinnacle creation dovetailed with the ascendency of Star Wars, which itself is experiencing a rebirth in an age of self-driving cars, smart devices, and mindless automation. Lyrically, songs such as The Voice call into question human behavior - and their relationship to increasing robotic supremacy - in everyday life. Sonically, Parsons reflects the associated paranoia, dichotomy, and transformation via shifting sci-fi arrangements steeped in drama and moodiness.


    I Robot's absorbing tunes also continue to fascinate due to their perfectionism and innovation. Borrowing from Pink Floyd's strategies, Parsons utilizes a looped sequence on the title track to create new downbeats. Some Other Time employs two different lead vocalists and yet gives the illusion only one is involved. Captivating strings, a piccolo trumpet, and bona fide pipe organ grace Don't Let It Show. The origins of Nucleus stem from a unique analog keyboard concoction dubbed the Projectron, devised by Parsons and electronic engineer Keith Johnson. Andrew Powell's orchestral and choral arrangements top it all off, with Total Eclipse arriving as an aptly frightening track that presages the climactic Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32.


    Does man or machine win in the end? Decide with Parsons as you get lost in Mobile Fidelity's definitive pressing.


    This title is not eligible for further discount.

    1. I Robot
    2. I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
    3. Some Other Time
    4. Breakdown
    5. Don't Let It Show
    6. The Voice
    7. Nucleus
    8. Day After Day
    9. Total Eclipse
    10. Genesis Ch. 1 V.32
    Alan Parsons Project
    $49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • The King's Gift The King's Gift Quick View

    $19.99
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    The King's Gift

    A Christmas album of Celtic carols, The King's Gift ("Tiodhlac An Righ," in Gaelic) pays tribute to an ancient genre and transports the listener to a time of mystery and valor. Last Christmas (2012), Trace's Celtic version of "We Three Kings" was released and will be featured on the album.


    Esteemed guests join Adkins on his first-ever holiday album since his Platinum debut sixteen years ago. Guests include renowned Irish ensemble, The Chieftains; Scottish vocalist Alyth McCormack, British folk/pop star Emma Stevens, multi-award winning family group, The Isaacs; Kevin Costner and daughter Lily Costner; and legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff. The keyboards, acoustic, steel and bass guitars of American folk music harmonize with the weissenborn, mandolin, uilleann pipe, penny whistle, violin, viola, cello, harp, and organ.


    "The Christmas Show" Tour begins a new Adkins holiday tradition for years to come. Envisioned as a theatrical production, Trace will alternate between fireside story-telling of anecdotes (both personal and historical) and performances of classic carols with a 12 piece ensemble - a quartet string section, female vocalists and a range of traditional instruments. The tour is inspired by Adkins' annual hosting duties at Disney World's Candlelight Processional, where his deep baritone narrates Christmas stories, while a full choir and orchestra performs. It has always been a highlight of Trace's year and he is thrilled to bring his own unique version of this concept on tour.

    1. Wexford Carol
    2. Tannenbaum
    3. O' Come Emmanuel (with Emma Stevens)
    4. Away In A Manger
    5. I Saw Three Ships (w. The Chieftains feat. Alyth McCormack)
    6. Silent Night (w. Kevin and Lily Costner)
    7. We Three Kings (w. Sonya Isaacs)
    8. Drummer Boy (w. Kenny Aronoff)
    9. Oh Holy Night (w. The Isaacs)
    10. What Child Is This
    Trace Adkins
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Nightbringers (Pre-Order) Nightbringers (Pre-Order) Quick View

    $25.99
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    Nightbringers (Pre-Order)

    Any band that has earned an army of devout followers through dropping seven killer full-lengths - and touring their collective ass off for sixteen years - could perhaps be forgiven for thinking they could take it easy as they wade into their eighth release. But that's just not The Black Dahlia Murder's style, and Nightbringers is testament to that. Having released their most accomplished, aggressive, and emotionally diverse music to date in the form of 2015's Abysmal, the Michigan quintet have once more pushed themselves to new heights, and the 34 minutes of searing melodic death metal that comprises Nightbringers is riveting listening. "I always feel a responsibility to the people who support this band when we start making a new record," asserts vocalist Trevor Strnad. "The pressure that comes from people being excited to hear what you come up with next can be intimidating, but it's so exciting that those people love you so much for just doing what you do. It makes you want to honor what you've done in the past, but also excite them with where you go next, and that definitely drove us on Nightbringers. When we started writing I honestly didn't know we had this album in us, and I feel really proud of it. It's a great moment for us."


    Rather than meticulously plan things out or stick rigidly to any kind of template, when it comes to writing The Black Dahlia Murder prefer to let things happen organically. In the hands of guitarist Brian Eschbach - who co-founded the band with Strnad in 2001 - and new recruit Brandon Ellis (Cannabis Corpse/ex-Arsis) Nightbringers is rich with dynamic riffs that are at once fresh and classic TBDM, resulting in a collection that shifts through many moods and effortlessly incorporates various elements of extreme metal. With guitarist Ryan Knight having amicably stepped down in 2016, the addition of twenty-four-year-old Ellis to the band's ranks has helped usher in an exciting new era. "He's very professional for his age, I think he's skilled far beyond his years, and his live energy is exceptional. When Max (Lavelle, bass) joined the band he challenged a lot of us on stage to raise our personal bar, and Brandon's pushed that even further," states Strnad. "Brandon coming into the band and writing a bunch of songs was an awesome surprise too. He really took the reins, and this record is also the most involved that Alan (Cassidy drums) has been too. The way that we were doing the demos and bouncing things back and forth he had a lot of room to do what he wanted to do, and I think it's definitely a more colorful album for that. I also think as we get older the emotional content goes up. I think we better realize how to grip the listener. Personally, I try to write lyrics that are going to match each part, and kind of ramp up those feelings that we're putting across." Strnad's statements are vividly borne out by every moment of Nightbringers. For fans attending 2017's Summer Slaughter tour, the first taste of of the record came with the inclusion of the title track in their set, which has an undeniable immediacy to it, rich with hooks and boasting a "circusy, evil and playful" air. By contrast, "Catacomb Hecatomb" is suffused with tragedy, the mournful tone of its slower passages deeply affecting. This too is dramatically different to "As Good As Dead", which has some swagger to it that Strnad likens to Megadeth, or "Matriarch", described by Eschbach as a "wild, neoclassical romp" and stands as one of the most cutthroat and all out aggressive tracks in the quintet's arsenal. Upon first hearing the latter, Strnad was intent on matching its visceral intensity. "I felt inspired to write very violent lyrics to it. It's told from the perspective of a woman who is trying to have a child and not having any luck, and she goes kind of crazy and stalks this other woman who is due to have a child. She finds her moment to take it from her, cutting it right out of her stomach." While Strnad explores a variety of themes and ideas with his lyrics, they are united by the album's title, which embraces a tenet that has been central to The Black Dahlia Murder's output since the very beginning. "A lot of archaic ideas that are still upheld - such as marriage and monogamy - came from Christianity, whether people want to acknowledge it or not, and to me, death metal has always been bucking that. It's 'being-the-villain music', because we're the enemy of Christianity, the enemy of all that is good and traditional. Death metal is for free thinkers, it's for showing people the path to inner strength and operating on your own will, instead of being told what to do and living in fear, and songs like the title track and "Kings Of The Nightworld" are about leading a legion of awakened minds into battle." Following this theme also motivated Strnad to forge into ever-darker territory, even when this meant tearing things up and starting over. "I felt I needed to rise to the occasion to make as much of the blood and guts and heinousness as possible, and there was actually a couple of points where I rewrote some songs. I just didn't feel like they were dark enough, or violent enough, so I was really trying to ramp up the monstrous aspects of things, and definitely trying in different ways to take down tradition."


    Rather than decamp to a single studio, the members split off when it came time to start laying down the songs - all well versed in how to get the best out of their individual performances. With former bassist Ryan Williams once again assisting, the drums were tracked at The Pipe Yard in Plymouth, Michigan and rhythm guitars in the band's practice space in Warren, Michigan [was bass tracked there too?]. Ellis then recorded his many blistering solos in his home studio, while Strnad headed to Full Force Studios on Long Island, with Joe Cincotta (Suffocation, Internal Bleeding) overseeing his sessions. For the unique and haunting cover art they turned to Kristian Wåhlin, aka Necrolord, who has designed seminal artwork for the likes of At The Gates, Bathory, Emperor and also TBDM's 2007 release, Nocturnal. "I think he's the most prominent artist when it comes to classic releases in the melodic death metal genre, and kind of bringing things full circle with it being the ten-year anniversary of Nocturnal felt right. By now people probably wouldn't have expected us to go back to him, so it's kind of a surprise, but at the same time it's a very classic cover too." With the band celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the aforementioned album by playing it in its entirety on Summer Slaughter, it has given them a moment to reflect not only on the road that has led them to here but also that which lies ahead. "When I think back to when we started the band I feel very proud of everything we've done, and I also see a lot of improvement over the years," says Strnad. "In the early songs I can hear us as kids, and then segueing into our adulthood as musicians and writers, but sixteen years in I still feel young as a band. I feel like we have a shit ton left to do, and I think we're sitting pretty with the best lineup we've ever had. I also think Nightbringers could be our finest hour yet. I feel very strongly that it will affect people, I want to get all of these songs in people's ears, and I want them to check out everything we've got on this record. There's so much variety and so many great ideas, and I think that this could take us to another place."

    1. Widowmaker
    2. Of God and Serpent, of Spectre and Snake
    3. Matriarch
    4. Nightbringers
    5. Jars
    6. Kings of the Nightworld
    7. Catacomb Hecatomb
    8. As Good as Dead
    9. The Lonely Deceased
    The Black Dahlia Murder
    $25.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
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