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  • Tom Rush Tom Rush Quick View

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    Tom Rush

    Tom Rush is an American folk singer/songwriter who began performing in 1961 while studying at Harvard University (he majored in English literature). Quickly, he became a regular on the East Coast folk circuit. A lot of his early recordings are versions of Lowland Scots and Appalachian folk songs. His first album saw the light of day in 1962.


    Credited by Rolling Stone magazine with ushering in the era of the singer/songwriter, Rush sang songs by then new songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Murray McLauchlan, helping them to gain recognition early in their careers, in addition to performing his own compositions.


    On his 1970 self titled album Tom Rush - his 7th album - he covers songs from fellow folkies such as Jackson Browne, Murray McLauchlan, James Taylor and David Wiffen, with a hint of country sneaking into the arrangements.


    The music of Tom Rush has left its stamp on generations of artists. James Taylor once told Rolling Stone, Tom was not only one of my early heroes, but also one of my main influences.

    1. Driving Wheel
    2. Rainy Day Man
    3. Drop Down Mama
    4. Old Man Song
    5. Lullaby
    6. These Days
    7. Wild Child (World Of Trouble)
    8. Colors Of The Sun
    9. Livin' In The Country
    10. Child's Song
    Tom Rush
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays The Music Of Rush The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays The Music Of Rush Quick View

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    The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays The Music Of Rush

    Purple Pyramid Records, a division of Cleopatra Records, will release The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays The Music Of Rush on November 13. Nearly sixty musicians and thirty vocalists transform nine of Rush's greatest hits into even more intricate, soaring orchestral works.


    The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra covers the best-known classics, from Working Man, the self-titled debut album track that launched Rush's career in the U.S. to Subdivisions from Signals, the album that proved electronic rock could reside in the top ten. The band's most successful record, Moving Pictures, is represented by rousing versions of Tom Sawyer and Red Barchetta. Special guest guitarists include Steve Rothery of Marillion on Working Man and Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden on Red Barchetta. The Windrush Choir provides backing vocals and solos.


    The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, formed in 1946 and based in London, has been called the nation's favorite orchestra. It has had internationally known maestros like Andre Previn and Louis Clark, and has toured the world. The RPO is a best-selling and adventurous recording entity as well. In 1969, it recorded a concerto for Deep Purple, composed by the band's organist Jon Lord. It earned a top ten U.S. single in 1982 with Hooked On Classics. Over the years, RPO has orchestrally arranged Pink Floyd, Oasis, Queen, R.E.M., Madonna and ABBA.


    The orchestra was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, conducted by BAFTA Award-winning musician and composer Richard Harvey. Harvey performed with the prog rock group Gryphon and as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (specializing in mediaeval and Renaissance periods), worked with many folk and rock musicians such as Richard and Linda Thompson, Kate Bush and Sweet. He has toured and recorded with John Williams, and has performed and composed film/TV soundtracks for more than thirty years. The album was produced by James Graydon and Richard Cottle, who also arranged all the music.

    1. 2112 Overture
    2. The Spirit Of Radio
    3. Tom Sawyer
    4. Red Barchetta (feat. Adrian Smith)
    5. Subdivisions
    6. Fly By Night
    7. Closer To The Heart
    8. Limelight
    9. Working Man (feat. Steve Rothery)
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • David Wiffen David Wiffen Quick View

    $21.99
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    David Wiffen

    Canadian singer/song writer David Wiffen's 1971 self titled album, originally released on Fantasy Records, is now being reissued by 4 Men With Beards. The album is a showcase for David's rich baritone voice and his world weary, laid back songs. Standout tracks include the classic "Driving Wheel" covered by Tom Rush, The Byrds, The Jayhawks, Roger McGuinn and The Cowboy Junkies among many others, plus the openly confessional "More Often Than Not" and "I've Got A Ticket". A underground folk/chamber pop classic reissued on 180 gram vinyl.
    1. One Step
    2. Never Make A Dollar That Way
    3. I've Got My Ticket
    4. What A Lot Of Woman
    5. Since I Fell For You
    6. Driving Wheel
    7. Mr. Wiffen
    8. Blues Was The Name Of The Song
    9. Mention My Name In Passing
    10. More Often Than Not
    David Wiffen
    $21.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • What's Shakin' What's Shakin' Quick View

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    What's Shakin'

    In the musically explosive '60s, Elektra Records, like most of their contemporaries, was diligently searching for the next big thing. Toward this pursuit, they often recorded demo sessions of promising artists, signing some and leaving others to find different label homes. In 1966, the label collected some of the best of these demos and compiled them for the Whats Shakin album. It contains the first four tracks recorded by the just-formed Lovin Spoonful, who wound up creating a series of hit albums and singles for Kama Sutra. Notably, the album also contains two songs by Eric Clapton and the Powerhouse, recorded immediately prior to the formation of Cream. Rounding out the compilations are contributions from Al Kooper and Elektra labelmates Tom Rush and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.


    News of the albums release spread quickly, making it a big hit on the nascent underground music scene. Sundazed is proud to make these ultra-rare tracks available again for todays music enthusiasts. Sourced from the original analog master tapes, pressed on high-definition vinyl and packaged with original liner notes and photo inserts, this album belongs in the collections of discerning music fans everywhere.

    1.LOVIN' SPOONFUL: Good Time Music
    2. LOVIN' SPOONFUL: Almost Grown
    3. PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND: Spoonful
    4. PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND: Off The Wall
    5. AL KOOPER: Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
    6. ERIC CLAPTON & THE POWERHOUSE: I Want To Know
    7. ERIC CLAPTON & THE POWERHOUSE: Crossroads
    8. PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND: Lovin' Cup
    9. PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
    10. ERIC CLAPTON & THE POWERHOUSE: Steppin' Out
    11. TOM RUSH: I'm In Love Again
    12. LOVIN' SPOONFUL: Don't Bank On It Baby
    13. LOVIN' SPOONFUL: Searchin'
    14. PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND: One More Mile
    Various Artists
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Moving Pictures: Live 2011 Moving Pictures: Live 2011 Quick View

    $15.99
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    Moving Pictures: Live 2011

    Moving Pictures: Live 2011 is a special collectors release which captures Rush performing their classic 1981 album in its entirely. Here on 180 gram vinyl with brand new artwork.


    Moving Pictures was Rush's eighth studio release and most successful album to date. Certified four-times platinum, the album features some of the band's most well known material and perennial radio favorites including Tom Sawyer, Limelight and the Grammy-nominated instrumental YYZ.

    1. Tom Sawyer
    2. Red Barchetta
    3. YYZ
    4. Limelight
    5. The Camera Eye
    6. Witch Hunt
    7. Vital Signs
    Rush
    $15.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Timeless Wavelength Timeless Wavelength Quick View

    $32.99
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    Timeless Wavelength


    Double 140g Vinyl LP In A Gatefold Sleeve


    Recorded Live At Kiel Auditorium, St Louis, Missouri, Usa, February 12, 1980


    Mastered At Abbey Road Studios, London


    Timeless Wavelength is a high quality vinyl-only 1980 double live set from one of the
    biggest rock groups in history, recorded live at Kiel Auditorium, St Louis, Missouri, USA, February 12, 1980.


    Rush are Canada's biggest rock export, with millions of sales of their nineteen studio albums recorded between 1974 and the present day.
    Formed in Toronto at the end of the 1960s, it was their second album Fly By Night which saw drummer Neil Peart join forces with singer / bass player Geddy Lee and guitar gunslinger Alex Lifeson on the path to rockstardom. Which came in 1976 with their fourth album 2112, the sci fi concept piece that fills side one being performed on Timeless Wavelenth in its entirety.


    Rush hit the charts with 1980 smash The Spirit Of Radio from the album Permanent Waves (that year's tour is when Timeless Wavelength was recorded).
    The following year saw the biggest album of their career, Moving Pictures (including the hit Tom Sawyer).
    Since then they have sustained their position as one of rock's biggest bands, with millions of tickets, records and t-shirts sold -- even the kids in South Park (led by superfan Cartman) are in a Rush tribute band.

    LP 1
    1. 2112
    2. By-Tor And The Snow Dog
    3. Xanadu
    4. The Spirit Of Radio


    LP 2
    1. Natural Science
    2. Beneath Between and Behind
    3. Working Man
    4. Finding My Way / Anthem
    5. Bastille Day
    6. In The Mood / drum solo
    7. La Villa Strangiato

    Rush
    $32.99
    140 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Dude Ranch Dude Ranch Quick View

    $25.99
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    Dude Ranch

    Limited Red Vinyl


    Mastered For Vinyl And Lacquers Created By Kevin Gray, Cohearent Audio


    Gatefold Jacket With 11 x 11 Insert


    Dude Ranch is the second studio album by American pop punk band Blink-182. Recorded at Big Fish Studios in Encinitas, California with producer Mark Trombino, the album was released in the United States on June 17, 1997.


    The band recorded the album during the winter of 1996-1997. With lyrical material written on the band's nonstop tours over the previous years, as well as completed songs, the band recorded with Trombino in sessions that lasted for five weeks. During the production for Dude Ranch, the members of Blink-182 were plagued with difficulties only made worse by the rushed schedule: bassist Mark Hoppus and guitarist Tom DeLonge, co-vocalists for the band, were having vocal problems and Raynor had to record his drum tracks with both heels broken, on crutches.


    Promoted by lead single "Dammit (Growing Up)", the record was released in the summer of 1997 and was a success. "Dammit" became a rock radio hit single and helped the band gain mainstream credibility as they toured worldwide on the Vans Warped Tour. Three more singles were released, with "Josie (Everything's Gonna Be Fine)" gathering MTV play and charting highly in Australia. Dude Ranch eventually grew in sales and was certified platinum in the US by the end of the decade.

    1. Pathetic
    2. Voyeur
    3. Dammit
    4. Boring
    5. Dick Lips
    6. Waggy
    7. Enthused
    8. Untitled
    9. Apple Shampoo
    10. Emo
    11. Josie
    12. A New Hope
    13. Degenerate
    14. Lemmings
    15. I'm Sorry
    Blink 182
    $25.99
    Colored Vinyl LP Buy Now
  • Days Gone By Days Gone By Quick View

    $23.99
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    Days Gone By

    Occupying the fertile ground between organic band and electronic production project, Bob Moses draw on the two poles to vividly resonate across both. Days Gone By, the debut album from Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance, plays with a sonic duality that combines the elegantly icy with an indelibly human touch. Alternating between dancefloor burners and moments of reflective repose, Days Gone By is a record that's not in a rush to get to its destination, preferring to slowly seduce rather than swagger into submission, weaving a rich spectrum of sensation over the course of its ten tracks.
    1. Like It Or Not
    2. Talk
    3. Before I Fall

    4. Too Much Is Never Enough

    5. Tearing Me Up

    6. Keeping Me Alive

    7. Nothing At All

    8. Days Gone By

    9. Writing On The Wall

    10. Touch And Go

    Bob Moses
    $23.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • WIXIW WIXIW Quick View

    $20.99
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    WIXIW

    Liars have returned with their sixth studio album and follow-up to 2010's critically lauded Sisterworld. WIXIW was recorded in LA and self-produced by the band with additional production from Mute founder Daniel Miller and mixed by Tom Biller. The band worked more collaboratively than on previous recordings and the album got its beginnings when frontman Angus Andrew and bassist Aaron Hemphill moved into an isolated cabin in the mountains to begin writing.


    WIXIW is simultaneously the most accessible and the most challenging release from the iconoclastic band, it is both a summation of Liars' work up to now, and a complete break from anything they've done previously. As Angus jokes, If we aren't confusing people, it's not us. If we aren't confusing ourselves with what we do, then we've failed.


    The 11-track album's title WIXIW (pronounced "wish you") is explained by Angus, "wish you is a familiar and universal sentiment of longing and hope, but when misspelt becomes uniquely shrouded and difficult to interpret, which in many ways is representative of our music and the songs we wrote for this album." Features the first single No. 1 Against The Rush. 180g vinyl pressing with accompanying CD.

    1. The Exact Colour of Doubt
    2. Octagon
    3. No. 1 Against the Rush
    4. A Ring On Every Finger
    5. Ill Valley Prodigies
    6. WIXIW
    7. His and Mine Sensations
    8. Flood To Flood
    9. Who Is The Hunter
    10. Brats
    11. Annual Moon Words
    Liars
    $20.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
  • Superchunk (Pre-Order) Superchunk (Pre-Order) Quick View

    $19.99
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    Superchunk (Pre-Order)

    The remastered LP features updated artwork and includes an 11 × 17 replica of an early Chunk show flyer, with photos and notes from the band on the reverse.

    Mac shared his memories of these early days of Superchunk: When I listen to our first album now, other than cringing at some clams and the vocals and the juvenile attitude of the whole thing what was I angry about? You'll have to ask 21-year-old me because in my memory, we were having fun. I hear the accumulation of our influences, which I suppose is normal for a first album-weaving all the things you loved up to that point into your own first thing. The Buzzcocks, HÜsker DÜ, Dinosaur Jr, and Sonic Youth are all right there and what we were listening to. Hearing this record recently, though, I was surprised at how southern some of it sounds, and I think the influence of bands like Drivin' n' Cryin' and of course R.E.M. is there under the fuzz. I remember thinking the solo 4-track demo of Slack Motherfucker sounded like Tom Petty. I can't find it now to prove it to you, but take my word for it. I was living in NYC finishing school when we made this record, so rehearsals and recording were all rushed. I'm surprised we knew this many songs well enough to record them. Twenty-seven years later, we still play at least three or four of these songs live occasionally (one of them all the time ), which says something good about a few of the songs, anyway! We got so much better as a band, and as songwriters, that it's hard to even see this as any kind of template for what Superchunk would eventually be, but it's definitely where we were at in 1989/90.

    This title is not eligible for further discount

    1. Sick to Move
    2. My Noise
    3. Let It Go
    4. Swinging
    5. Slow
    6. Slack Motherfucker
    7. Binding
    8. Down the Hall
    9. Half a Life
    10. Not Tomorrow
    Superchunk
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
  • Bones Bones Quick View

    $18.99
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    Bones

    On The Delta Saints' new album, Bones, their first for Loud & Proud Records, the Nashville-based band have stripped their roots/blues sound down to its essence, having rearranged the elements into something uniquely their own. Steeped in rock 'n' roll's building blocks - country, R&B, soul and gospel - The Delta Saints' second full-length effort explores influences like Jack White, The Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses and Led Zeppelin. Producer/engineer/mixer and Third Man Records alum, Eddie Spear [Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Neil Young] provided a ghostly, psychedelic atmosphere at Nashville's Sputnik Sound studios, yielding a sound unlike anything they have created before.


    "We got to the point where what we were recording and playing had veered from what we were listening to and loving on our turntables, which can lead to discontent," said Louisiana-born singer/lyricist Ben Ringel, who co-founded the band almost eight years ago with fellow Belmont University student, Kansas native bassist David Supica. Soon after, they were joined by Tennessee-bred guitarist Dylan Fitch and later, after a health scare with the band's former harmonica player, enlisted Louisville resident and keyboardist, Nate Kremer, who was added to the lineup only two weeks before a two month long European tour.


    Taking a novel approach of writing songs spontaneously in the studio, The Delta Saints were challenged to create in the moment and as a result, Bones is their most adventurous effort yet. The album is a collection of eclectic songs, beginning with The White Stripes-meets-Led Zeppelin fuzz-toned garage-rock blast of "Sometimes I Worry." The spare, spooky strains of "Butte la Rose" tell the band's tale of a Louisiana town purposely flooded and displaced five years ago to save New Orleans. The Grapes of Wrath drama of "Dust," based on Ringel's grandfather, an East Kansas farmer, builds to a primal wail at nature with a stunning coda in which Dylan Fitch's guitar drops out and Kremer's B3 organ provides the climax. The title track, "Bones" features hoodoo organ riffs and African-influenced trance music, which came from listening to the Sahara desert African groove of Niger's Tuareg guitarist Omara "Bombino" Moctar and Mali's Tinariwen. The grindhouse honky-tonk chain gang chants of "Heavy Hammer" celebrates the work ethic in no uncertain terms, a call for unity in the wake of Ringel's frustration about getting stuck in the rat race and feeling trapped by some of life's mundane tasks. "Berlin," the first song they recorded after adding Nate on keys, started out as an instrumental penned in the title city while on tour. It eventually metamorphosed into a country twang intro and a prog-rock jam. Bones is a complete work veering between despair and apocalyptic dread.


    "We're trying to push ourselves forward to do something more modern, but at the same time incorporating where we come from," explained Ringel.


    "It was incredible to be able to write a song on the spot and immediately hear what it sounded like," added Supica. "It was a great way to capture the magic right when you come up with an idea, preserving that raw element. We were used to playing a song for months on the road before we recorded it. Still, on the flip side, it was absolutely terrifying to sit in the studio watching the clock tick and waiting for a song to come out. That's where (producer) Ed Spear came into play; he was so good at keeping us pointed in the right direction."


    "This record was made out of both necessity and desire. We needed to be fulfilled and surprised by music again, and we also needed to fulfill that love of writing and recording again."


    The Delta Saints have independently released two EPs (2010's Pray On and A Bird Called Angola), a full-length album (2012's Death Letter Jubilee) and a live disc (2014's Live at Exit/In). They have spent the last eight years touring the US averaging almost 200 shows per year, organically growing their audience, fan by fan, city by city. Major appearances include several festivals including Wakarusa, Summer Camp, Harvest, The Ride, Summerfest and The Simple Man Cruise. A testament to their mixed appeal, they have opened for such diverse acts as Blackberry Smoke, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Taj Mahal, Dickey Betts and Michael Franti & Spearhead.


    The Delta Saints have also have a large international fan base having toured Europe a total of six times, selling out countless venues and playing more than 200 shows in Spain, Sweden, France, Switzerland and Germany, as well as several festivals in Holland (Moulin Blues, Ribs and Blues), Belgium (Gevarenwinkel) and Germany (Grolsch Blues Fest).


    With all that they've accomplished as a hard-working group on their own, The Delta Saints have earned their graduation to industry veteran Tom Lipsky's Loud & Proud Records (which has been the home of Rush, Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS, Robert Plant, Rob Zombie, Lenny Kravitz and The String Cheese Incident, among others).


    "Don't look so tired, my dear," sings Ringel in Bones' closing track, "Berlin," echoing the band's progress. "We may be bruised, but the day is almost here."


    "It's hard to see progress when you're in the middle of things," said Supica about The Delta Saints' ambitions. "We try to take stock every six months or so and look back from where we've come, from eating at McDonald's and sleeping on people's floors to staying at a Motel 6 and graduating to La Quinta. We mark our success by the hotel chain where we're staying. When we get to Marriott, we know we've made it."


    Bones proves The Delta Saints are well on their way to making that reservation.

    The Delta Saints
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Quick View

    $29.99
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    Sorceress (Black Vinyl)

    Pressed On Black Vinyl


    There are few bands that can or will match Sweden's Opeth. Since forming in the tiny Stockholm suburb of Bandhagen in 1990, the Swedes have eclipsed convention, defiantly crushed the odds, and, most importantly, crafted 12 stunningly beautiful, become one of the best bands on the planet; on album or on stage. Ask any Opeth fan. Enquire with any band that's shared the proverbial pine with the Swedes. Or, get a label representative to talk Opeth. They'll all tell you the same thing: Opeth are peerless. And they're only getting better.


    Opeth's new album, Sorceress, their first for Nuclear Blast via the band's imprint label Moderbolaget Records, is proof chief architect Mikael Åkerfeldt has a near-endless well of greatness inside. From the album's opener "Persephone" to "The Wilde Flowers" and "Strange Brew" to the album's counterpart title tracks "Sorceress" and "Sorceress II", Opeth's twelfth full-length is an unparalleled adventure, where visions cleverly and secretly change, colours mute as if weathered by time, and sounds challenge profoundly. Sorceress is, by definition, moored in Åkerfeldt's impressive record collection-his one true vice-but, as always, there's more invention than appropriation at play.


    "This time around I didn't think about what I wanted to do," Åkerfeldt reveals. "I was forced to write. But once I started, it was easy. This record, like the last record, didn't take long to write. Like five or six months. The thoughts behind this record developed as I was writing. The only thing I was thinking about with this record was to write that songs didn't musically connect. I made sure if I had a song that was new sounding for this record, I'd make the next song completely different. I think the songs are very different from one another. It's very diverse."


    Certainly, every Opeth record has had diversity. In 1995, Orchid reset the rules of death metal. Six years later, Blackwater Park hit the high note for musicality in a genre generally devoid of it. Damnation, in 2003, was the work of a band determined to upend the norm. Five years after that, Watershed closed Opeth's chapter on death metal by visiting its darkest corners and holding its native brutality aloft. And in 2014, Pale Communion officially bridged the progressive music gap by twisting the intrepid sounds of '60s, '70s, and '80s into contemporary brilliance. So, really, what's so different about Sorceress?


    "My music taste got a little wider," grins Åkerfeldt. "I started listening to jazz. I bought a lot of Coltrane records. I never really thought Coltrane would be for me because I like 'dinner jazz.' I like comfortable, soft, nice, and lovely jazz. Like Miles Davis' '50s stuff. Porgy and Bess, for example. I guess Dave Brubeck fits in there, too. So, that's the only new influx of musical inspiration for me. Other than that, I've been buying the same type of records I always have. Prog, symphonic rock, singer/songwriter, metal, hard rock But there wasn't anything that set me off like The Zombies or Scott Walker. Nothing got me going this time."


    Actually, that's not entirely true. Åkerfeldt's always mining for progressive gold. Good, rare music is particularly good at getting his motor running. He found double-gold in one-off Italian outfit Il Paese dei Balocchi and Bobak, Jons, Malone's ultra-obscure Motherlight album. To wit, get Åkerfeldt talking about either and he's all too pleased to discuss the finer points of Il Paese dei Balocchi's string-based darkness or how he fan-boyed Malone via email to get the famed British orchestrator and one-time Iron Maiden producer to contribute to Sorceress.


    "I absolutely love Il Paese dei Balocchi," Åkerfeldt professes. "They did one album. It's insanely good. It has everything I love about progressive rock in it. This album is so orchestrated and epic. It's got lots of string sections. It's very moody, dark, and sad. It's a mystery they didn't do any more. As for Will Malone, he did the strings and stuff for the Sabbath records-Sabotage and Never Say Die! But now he does strings for pop artists like Joss Stone, The Verve, Depeche Mode. I looked him up, mostly because he was the house engineer for Morgan Studios in the '60s. He was also in a few bands. Like Orange Bicycle and played on the Motherlight album. He also had a solo record, which is also amazing and superbly rare. It's orchestral. The bulk of it is strings. It's kind of like Nick Drake."


    Åkerfeldt's quick to point out, however, his newfound progressive music loves didn't directly inspire him to write Sorceress. The majority of the album was penned in Opeth's rehearsal space, where, nestled comfortably in a corner, a computer, a keyboard, and a microphone sit ready for the next Opeth epic. It isn't plush, but it's exactly the type of environment the frontman needs to focus his creative self into song.


    "When I'm in a writing mode, I have tunnel vision," says Åkerfeldt. "I have a really good work ethic. I go down to the studio everyday early in the morning and I work. I absolutely love it. It's so much fun. It's much easier now, too. I write complete demos. I sequence the songs in the order I want them to be on the record. I do mixing. I do overdubs. Once I'm done, I give copies to the guys so they can listen to the album. They practice to it on their own. When it's time to go into the studio, everybody does their own thing. It obviously works."


    For Sorceress, Opeth returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, where the Swedes had tracked Pale Communion in 2014 with Tom Dalgety. The experience was so positive and historical-the countryside studio was also home to pivotal Budgie, Queen, Rush, Judas Priest, and Mike Oldfield recordings-there really was no other option for Opeth and crew. Rockfield Studios or bust! The studio, with Dalgety yet again in tow, provided the necessary isolation, the right bucolic atmosphere, the best gear, and three square meals a day for Sorceress to come out the other end spitting fire. All in 12 bittersweet days, too.


    "There was a time when I came out of our recordings a wreck," Åkerfeldt bemoans. "But now I come out with a wish. I wish it wouldn't have gone so quickly. There's emptiness after I leave the studio. I love writing and recording in the studio. It's lovely at Rockfield. It's in the sticks. It's got horses and cows. There's lots of sheep in Wales. But the studio is just a studio. It's so beautiful there. So quiet. It's a residential studio as well, so we live there while we're recording. We have chefs for us, too. So, we can just be there, playing, recording, and hanging out."


    If life is like a Peter Max poster, the lyrics to Sorceress aren't. There's color, but they've been treated, corrupted, and befouled. That is to say, they're much darker. Some of bleak lyrical tones stem from Åkerfeldt's personal life-and are thusly contorted beyond recognition-while others touch grimly on topics like love and what happens to people on the other side of it. In fact, some of the lyrical ideas are similar to what was happening on Blackwater Park.


    "I made sure to write good lyrics," Åkerfeldt laughs. "This sounds very old-fashioned black metal to say, but the lyrics are misanthropic. It's not a concept record, so there's no theme running through the record. Most of the record deals with love. The negative aspects of love. The jealously, the bitterness, the paranoia, and the mind games of love. So, it's a love record. Love songs. Love can be like a disease or a spell."


    Luckily, for Åkerfeldt and crew-bassist Martín MÉndez, drummer Martin Axenrot, guitarist Fredrik Åkesson, and keyboardist Joakim Svalberg-the lineup doesn't have to deal with Sorceress' main theme. They've been together since Heritage was completed, and according to Åkerfeldt he's not been in a better band situation before. Not since Orchid. Not since Still Life. Not since Ghost Reveries.


    "It's the best band situation I've ever had. Fans will look at our eras and have their favorite lineup, but this is the best. Even the happiest days of the first and second lineups aren't comparable to what I have now. We never fight. It's like a good work team. We know each other professionally and personally. As much as we're a band, we're also friends. We hang out when we're not doing Opeth."


    A core team is a good thing, when Opeth's credibility is in full view of fans and critics. Åkerfeldt's very aware of what the masses have had to say about Opeth since Watershed. While some disliked the musical shift on Heritage, most have applauded it. They've come to expect something new from Opeth. True to form, Sorceress will give long-time fans and weary critics reason to re-think Opeth and what it takes to be musically fearless.


    "I hope they'll like the record," posits Åkerfeldt. "I can only talk from my perspective and taste here, but we offer diversity that's not really present in the scene today. Whatever genre. We've always been a special band. We've gotten a lot of shit for being different. We still do. Our time will come, I think. It comes down to perseverance. It comes down to not giving up or giving in to public opinion. Music is about doing your own thing or going your own way."

    1. Persephone
    2. Sorceress
    3. The Wilde Flowers
    4. Will O The Wisp
    5. Chrysalis
    6. Sorceress 2
    7. The Seventh Sojourn
    8. Strange Brew
    9. A Fleeting Glance
    10. Era
    11. Persephone (Slight Return)
    12. The Ward
    13. Spring MCMLXXIV
    Opeth
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
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