HRR 639, ltd 500, 200 x black + 300 x grey vinyl

01 Habeas Corpus
02 Too Soon
03 Stations
04 Every Second


There is just no stopping Chris “The Professor” Black. With High Spirits and Dawnbringer he has created some of the best and most unconventional heavy metal music around today. And don't forget Aktor. What about Pharaoh, Superchrist and Nachmystium? Well, forget about all those. It's solo album time. Not one, not two but three. All issued simultaneously (on vinyl) via High Roller Records.
“It’s a very High Roller thing to do! Over the top!,” laughs Chris Black. “But there may be downsides to all three albums being released simultaneously as well. We’ll see. But ultimately, I decided that would make it most convenient for the audience. If someone wants to buy two or maybe even all three albums, they can do it with only one trip to the store. Or one mailorder delivery, as the case may be. That convenience was the deciding factor.”
Kiss releasing solo albums of each individual member simultaneously
back in the 1978 is one thing. But Professor Black is putting out
three different solo albums at the same time ... Has this kind of thing ever
been done before? What was the reason behind it? “I don’t know if it has been done before,” smirks Chris. “Possibly in the more experimental musical genres. The point was to make a big splash, of course, and also to show that under the Professor Black name, you will get many different kinds of music. Anything can happen, and here are three examples. We will try with the album covers to give a good clue about the music inside. But of course, that will be subject to interpretation.”
So how was the songwriting of the three albums actually approached? Professor Black states: “Around the middle of 2016 I began a free-writing period where I was just gathering different songs and organizing them into albums and EPs. I was writing a lot of new ideas at the time but also returning to my archives and finding things that were unfinished. »Sunrise« and »I Am The Rock« were written somewhat concurrently, from late 2016 into early 2017, although a few scattered bits of »Sunrise« are a bit older. »LVPVS« on the other hand was written and also partially recorded in 2008. The »You Bastard!« EP which came out this year (Ektro Records) was also archival material in a way, written in 2012-13 although not recorded until 2017. The songwriting and song-gathering period I described also yielded the High Spirits »Escape!« EP as well as a handful of other ideas which have been reserved for High Spirits. It may sound chaotic, but it was actually quite easy to sort everything into their respective EPs and LPs.”
As we all know, Chris Black is a very smart person, so he surely must have thought about the danger of his music being too omnipresent, the market being oversaturated? To which conclusion has he come? “I passed the saturation point long ago, and I just keep going,” he laughs. “The market is oversaturated whether you include my music or not. Listeners nowadays are good at doing their homework and finding new or old music that suits their tastes. I trust anyone who is not interested in what I am doing to move along and find something that is more exciting for them. I am not naïve enough to think that every listener will love every album and every song that I create. Thank you for the compliment, by the way!”
»LVPVS« is one of the three solo albums. What's the exact concept behind it? Four extremely long songs. It's quite ambient, of course instrumental, some old prog influences, sometimes reduced, bleak, doomy, dream-like ... Very eclectic stuff for sure … Chris Black agrees: “I think your description is working fine. It is honestly hard to remember what my initial motivations were with »LVPVS«, since it was a long time ago. I remember wanting to experiment with repetition. I guess more importantly, when I returned to those tracks in 2017, I liked that there was a certain musical distance. With High Spirits, I am standing right in front of you, singing into your face. With »LVPVS«, I am standing farther away, using larger and less intricate shapes.”
Matthias Mader