RIDERS OF THE ANCIENT STORM OUT ON OCTOBER 6
VINYL 180 GM. CD: JEWEL CASE AND DIGIPACK
Thunderload Studio – About the recordings
All songs are produced, recorded and mixed at Thunderload Studios by Ragne and Styrbjörn Wahlquist.
The strings on Walhalla Warriors are performed by a double string quartet. Actually, it is a simple quartet: two violins, a viola, and a cello. To achieve a powerful sound, we recorded them twice.
“It was fantastic to hear my arrangement performed by a real ensemble,” says Ragne.
The strings were recorded in 1987 in our first Thunderload Studio. The same studio in which we recorded the Candlemass albums Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and Nightfall. Thus, Walhalla Warriors is the oldest recording among the songs on Riders of the Ancient Storm.
The songs are:
Ride the Night, 05:18 ... vocals: Ragne Wahlquist
We Rock the World, 04:12 ... vocals: Styrbjörn Wahlquist
Walhalla Warriors, 05:45 ... vocals: Ragne Wahlquist
Angel Dark, 06:11 ... vocals: Ragne Wahlquist
Slave No More, 08:17 ... vocals: Styrbjörn Wahlquist
Raven Is Calling, 06:28 ... vocals: Ragne Wahlquist
Sail Away, 05:31 ... vocals: Ragne Wahlquist
Butterfly Whispering, 7:06 ... one acoustic guitar: Ragne Wahlquist
(Butterfly whispering is only on CD. This is due to not having bad dynamics and low volume on vinyl caused by long playing time.)
Thunderload Studio – the tape recorders
The oldest recordings were made on a 24-channel tape recorder with 2” tape. In 2016, we began to recreate Thunderload Studio and one of the first things we acquired was a 32-channel tape recorder with 2” tape. Believe it or not, it has a brand new tape head and has a fantastic sound. In the picture above you find it on the left side.
When we do our final mixes they land upon a 2-channel tape recorder with ¼” tape. It has brand new tape heads and sounds like a dream. Incredible dynamics and a warm sound. In the picture above it is to the right.
A soundscape with dynamics, transparence and width
Our goal was to create a soundscape with dynamics, transparence and width. For this reason, we have not compressed the stereo image in order to make everything sound louder than everything else. Instead, we have strived for a soundscape with depth and space. We hope you like what you hear.
The vinyl version is pressed in Sweden at Spinroad Vinyl Factory.
Thunderload Studio – the mixing console
Of course, we needed a mixer for the studio. It had to be an analogue mixer with a warm, deep, and transparent sound. Many channels were another requirement, as well as numerous effect sends.
In the old studio, we had a 50-channel mixing console. It was destroyed in a devastating flood. Eventually, we came across a 40 channel Raindirk mixer that met our desires, and moreover, it was built for a 32-channel tape recorder. This means that the mixer has 32 selectable outputs, making it possible to send the sound to 32 different channels at the same time. We were completely happy; it couldn't get any better than this.
We also have a digital system where we create our demos and mastered the digital version of Riders of the Ancient Storm. When we mix down from 32 channels to 2 channels, we control the levels and effects through the digital system. However, the signal path is completely analogue. This method is a bit time-consuming, but this way we get full control over each track.