Oblivion

by The Shadow Principle

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about

Four years in the making, "Oblivion" is an unapologetic, full-throttle rock record packed with great songs and commanding performances. Released at a time when many rock acts have either softened considerably or abandoned the genre altogether, "Oblivion" stays true-to-form throughout, dismissing current trends, looking instead to the great rock bands of the 70s, 80s, and 90s for inspiration.

Writing for this record began shortly after the completion of the band’s 2012 concept album, "Golden State." Seeking an assemblage of compelling stand-alone songs untethered to an overarching theme, bassist/vocalist Dave Tomkins introduced one straight-ahead rocker (“When the Sun Appears”), two mini epics (“Byzantium” and “Rivers”), and one oddity in 6/4 (“So Dark”) to band mates Reza Moosavi (guitar) and Kurt Berens (drums) in Spring 2013. The trio developed innumerable arrangements of each song and, while simultaneously performing live in support of "Golden State," noted the opportunities this new material presented for a bigger vocal presence within the band—one that would undoubtedly have a positive impact on live presentations of the band’s established material as well. And so began the long search for a new lead vocalist that—after a few false starts—finally culminated in the discovery of Nohl Takahashi (formerly of Daijobu) in the Summer of 2015.

With Takahashi fully integrated into the band, writing on what would become "Oblivion" continued throughout 2015 and into 2016. During this period, “So Dark” became “Starless Skies,” and “Rivers” (with new lyrics by Takahashi) became “Stand Down.” Takahashi also added lyrics to another Tomkins song, “Minutiae,” as well as to Moosavi compositions “Headstrong” and “Dead Walking.” A final flurry of writing came from Tomkins in the form of “Phantom Satellite,” “Brutal Muse,” and “The Passenger,” with Takahashi adding additional lyrics to each. All ten songs endured a vigorous arrangement process whereby Takahashi and Tomkins worked out vocal harmonies, and all four musicians had the opportunity to create unique parts and to experiment with a variety of sounds and approaches, culminating in the full band arrangements one hears on the finished record.

When the time came to record, the band once again returned to Kingsize Soundlabs to take advantage of the studio’s unique mixture of vintage and state-of-the-art recording equipment, and to work with Brian Rosemeyer, who had engineered and mixed "Golden State." As was the case previously, the band recorded instrumentals primarily live with just a handful of overdubs. Vocal recording and mixing took place separately in producer Rob Schnapf’s adjacent “Mant” studio, with mastering duties being undertaken once again by Mark Chalecki at Little Red Book Mastering.

The album’s cover art, created by filmmaker Patrick Lawler, pairs with the album’s title, "Oblivion", in thought-provoking ways. The term “oblivion” can refer to forgetfulness on the one hand, or to having been forgotten on the other—to a state of unconsciousness, or to a condition of alienation or extinction. Does the figure on the album’s cover—perhaps unconsciously, in a daydream—long to scale the hillside at which he stares (to achieve a goal, or to regain something lost), or does he look back at a peak just descended (symbolizing something rejected or dismissed)? Has he been cast out of a civilization (perhaps the one responsible for the luminous glow emerging beyond the hill’s precipice), or does he look on with dread at a lingering past he wishes to escape? Such existential questions inform many of the album’s lyrics, inviting listeners to see reflections of their own experiences, and suitably to draw their own conclusions.

Equal parts cerebral and visceral, the Shadow Principle’s "Oblivion" holds much in store for fans of bands ranging from Led Zeppelin and The Who to Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, and the Mars Volta.

credits

released July 15, 2016

The Shadow Principle / Oblivion

Release Date: July 15, 2016

Produced & Arranged by The Shadow Principle
Engineered and Mixed by Brian Rosemeyer
at Kingsize Soundlabs, Los Angeles
Mastered by Mark Chalecki
at Little Red Book Mastering, Los Angeles

The Shadow Principle:
Kurt Berens: Drums
Reza Moosavi: Guitar
Nohl Takahashi: Vocals
Dave Tomkins: Bass/Vocals

Tracks 1 & 5: Music: Tomkins / Words: Takahashi
Tracks 2, 6, & 7: Music / Words: Tomkins
Tracks 3, 9, & 10: Music: Tomkins / Words: Tomkins & Takahashi
Tracks 4 & 8: Music: Moosavi / Words: Takahashi

℗ & © 2016 Berens, Moosavi, Takahashi, Tomkins
www.theshadowprinciple.com

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about

The Shadow Principle Los Angeles, California

Kurt Berens: Drums

Reza Moosavi: Guitar

Nohl Takahashi: Vocals

Dave Tomkins: Bass/Vocals

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Track Name: Minutiae
Some would dance in their prison yards
Some would kill to have a bleeding heart

So the story goes
Some designed like a fashion plate of lost souls

Once, twice, the third is far too much too handle
Pay a price, only to have it stolen away from you

Fold, waiting for a nightmare’s end
Cold, fire is dying out
Don't you suffer any more than this

Some would swim just to drown you out
Some would speak only to shut your mouth

One an actor who is high and proud
One a mime who wants to scream out loud

Once, thrice, infinite with all your angles
Pay a price, only to have it stolen away from you

Fold, waiting for a nightmare’s end
Cold, fire is dying out
Don't you suffer any more than this
Track Name: When the Sun Appears
Wounded tongue tastes of salt
Stings like summer rain
On the skin revealed to burn
And branded with the flame

Twisted limbs of rotten trees
Bear the fruit of words
Exposed in darkness
Like the earthworm to the bird

And I want to know
Which way to go
When the sun appears
In a dream awake
Which path to take?
When the sun appears

Morning came fires were out
A storm out of the north
Through a narrow passage
Passing whispers back and forth

Drop the veil when the sirens call
And disturb the dust
From limb to limb
My body turned to rust

And I want to know
Which way to go
When the sun appear
In a dream awake
Which path to take?
When the sun appears
Track Name: Phantom Satellite
Without a trace of life,
You always found your place
In an endless circle

You’re in and out of time
Black as night for days
And no one discovers
Passing like a satellite

Above the sky your orbit stays
She whispers in the candlelight
Inside a house where no one stays
Passing like a satellite

The tension comes undone
Unspooling in the haze
In a haze of silence

You’re somewhere in between
A state of saving face
Yet no one sees you
Passing like a satellite

Above the sky your orbit stays
She whispers in the candlelight
Inside a house where no one stays
Passing like a satellite

One day a mountain fell from the sky
Engulfed in firelight
Nothing to do, nothing to try
The truth will see the light
Track Name: Headstrong
The power to deem, another story unfolds
Tearing the seams to the fabric of old
Static the winds that blows the new reaper
Wake up and scream the truth into your new receiver

Stare with eyes, with a thoughtless soul

Don't make me raise names, fires fit for trial
To find your name escaping righteous gallows
Thrashing boats sink faster in the storms
Simplify if the complex wouldn't be so hollow

Headstrong like your will
Headstrong like you feel
Your headstrong like the wind
Headstrong like medicine

Sterile eyes with a thoughtless soul
Waiting to fight, weltanschauungskrieg me more
And the animal caged, you think, sleeps In silence
Waits for you, waits for time to strike you down

Headstrong like your will
Headstrong like you feel
Your headstrong like the wind
Headstrong like like a sin
Track Name: Stand Down
When will the day ever come
When the kings lose their crowns
For what they have done?
When will the silence soon
Silence their their drums?
Should we leave, after all we finally won?

Don't turn away
Watch the beast bleeding out for change
Don't turn away
Watch the beast screaming out in rage
Don’t turn away

Once we hold
All hands calm down
Once it's told
All hands stand down

Some of the fear has signed up to sin
And for what delusions you see as next of your kin
So don't talk! And the woes that you parade in
And you know that the battle begins

Don't turn away
Watch the beast bleeding out for change
Don’t turn away
Watch the beast screaming out in rage
Don’t turn away

Once we hold
All hands calm down
Once it's told
All hands stand down
Track Name: Starless Skies
Yesterday I woke from sleep
With a glass half empty next to me
The burning need, the jealousy
Everything's exactly how it should be

Stare into starless skies,
The blackest eyes
Like none I’ve seen before

In this disfigured shape
I can’t escape
From all I’ve seen before

The spinning blades of air police
Carving circles in the air above me
The mindless eye, technology
Is all I need to keep me company

Stare into starless skies,
The blackest eyes
Like none I’ve seen before

In this disfigured shape
I can’t escape
From all I’ve seen before
Track Name: Byzantium
Help me to see
How it’s worth it to me
To still try

Cracks in the plan
Like some old rubber band

Something inside me has died
If it was ever alive
All that I see responsibility

What shall I do with this
Crumbled paper in my fist?
Imagination in the fire
Sick with desire

Help me to see
How the sundial debris
Gives me time

Green turns to brown
Turns to dust on the ground

Something inside me has died
If it was ever alive
All that I see responsibility

What shall I do with this
Crumbled paper in my fist?
Imagination in the fire
Sick with desire

Whatever dream is in your head
One day you’re born
The next you’re dead
Track Name: Dead Walking
Good God, excuses due to senescence
Sod off, running your mouth again
Don’t think we won’t dish back the fodder

Talk talk, tell me how you burned me again
Tell take marks a bruise, a lie in your hand
Don’t make me convert your only daughter

Think it’s time you know
Cause we know you’ll never change

Send in the walking dead
They’re all starving for your head
Oh no place safe left to run no

You must have lost your mind
To make you think you’re right
As ya walk on and make it up as you go along

Walk walk, fake the talk, shock me again
Balk balk, don’t go hide behind your friends
Stand up and show us what you’re made of

Think it’s time to call you out
Cause your walk will drag the same

Send in the walking dead
They’re all starving for your head
Oh no place safe left to run no

You must have lost your mind
To make you think you’re right
As ya walk on and make it up as you go along
Track Name: Brutal Muse
Brutal muse dressed in black
Rattle your sabers and prepare for attack
Once we turn our backs

Brutal muse in red and green
Ready an onslaught like we’ve never seen
The marketing machine presses on

Rows of your towers burning bright
Those who are blinded take delight
Grinding down on the Devil’s pill
Amusing to muses with a hand that's fit to kill

Brutal muse, computer screen
Bloody knives and clever animated memes
Never in your wildest dreams

Brutal muse, the dying child
At water’s edge the suffering unreconciled
Senseless acts reviled but nothing more

Rows of your towers burning bright
Those who are blinded take delight
Grinding down on the Devil’s pill
Amusing to muses with a hand that's fit to kill

All your muses in me . . .
Track Name: The Passenger
I read it in a letter today
From someone I barely knew
She said you had drifted away
My wounds are your wounds it's true
Looking for the keys to unlock
Living like a passenger

Turn around, turn around
A passenger
Look around, look around
A passenger

I see you at the top of the stairs
I see you in the bedroom too
Once I had something to feel
Until I left it all with you
Sitting next to you out of view
Living like your passenger

Turn around, turn around
A passenger
Look Around, look around
A passenger

Some days are gone
Some days move fast
And nothing lasts

All things we know
All things we love
All turn to dust