Track By Tracks: Hex A.D - Netherworld Triumphant (2018)


1. Himmelskare:

The title is taken from the lyrics of a traditional Norwegian Christmas hymn. Musicaly it's a medley of different themes that run through the album. It is arranged and performed by Mags.

2. Skeleton Key, Skeleton Hand:

Based on a rehersal jam between Matt and myself. It includes a lot of different inspirations from Judas Priest, Eagles and Randy Rhoads. The ending was put together as a deliberate twist and surpirise, and was difficult to get right in the studio. The lyrics are based around a horror story Rick wrote for the album's sleeve.

3. Netherworld Triumphant pt. I:

This song was intended to be the title track even before the title of the album was ready. It had that "bigness" to it. I had the intro melody, and wanted a song with a lot of unsuspected elements in it. The "Uriah Heep-ish" verse riff was based around one chord to give the lyrics total focus. The lyrics are definitely inspired by christian mythology and the post Roman christian traditions.

4. Netherworld Triumphant pt. II:

Inspired by the vocal melody of a Sting-song I really like and turned into an apocalyptic and twisted instrumental with a touch of King Crimson-harmonies and riffs. We had a young talented saxophone player come in to give it an extra hint of King Crimson flavour. As a tie-in to the previous song I decided to reintroduce the weirdest riff from it and play it straighter and heavier here. The psychedelic ending owes a lot to early Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd.

5. WarChild:

With a title borrowed from one of my all-time favourite bands Jethro Tull, this song deals with my own romantic feelings towards WW II. I have a strong  sense of nostalgia to the '40s even though I wasn't born yet. To make it a bit less conceptional and more universal I wrote the lyrics in an "open" way so that people can read into it what they like. My own intentions are unimportant in that regard. Obviously this song has a strong Black Sabbath-wibe, and is based around the type of Iommi-riffs that I particularly like. My good friend Rowan Robertson, formerly of Dio, put down a fantastic guitar lead at the end to give it an even more epic feel. Church bells, speeches, mellotron orchestras - It's wonderfully over the top!

6. Boars on Spears:

The title came from a picture of a medieval tapestry I saw in a magazine while I was on the train from Dover to London after having recorded our previous single "The Cranium Seal" with Chris Tsangarides in march 2017. I liked the image and built the lyrics around the idea of how most of mankind has lost touch with mother earth. Musicaly it has a lot of contrasts and gives me a chance to use my deep voice in a suitable way. There are clear hints of my Gilmour-fetish and Iron Maiden in the guitar arrangements, and even though some have drawn a line from the bomastic intro to W.A.S.P. it has nothing to do with that band. It was written as a mad Moon/ Townsend- part and turned out a bit similar to a song on Zep I.

7. Ladders to Fire:

A title taken from the old VHS tape "Ozzy Osbourne - Don't blame me" where some random hang-around suggests the title to Ozzy, and as we all know it was never used by him for the No More Tears record. The main-riff is based on the bassline to and acoustic part of a song I really like. It was intended to be doomy, epic and pompous both musicaly and lyric wise. We actually recorded it twice, as the tempo was to fast on the first version. To me it has a very deep root in Black Sabbath's early eighties style, which I feel is a relatively untapped well of inspiration. Many bands with a doomy- touch try to rewrite Master of Reality, and even though I love both that album and many of the bands I'm refering to, I personally feel a stronger connection with the more refined and classic sounding material. I particularly love the piano outro on this track. It was my idea to make it sound like a gramophone record, but when I heard the finished mix from start to finish for the first time it gave me a weird sensation of having gone back in time...  

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