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King Diamond guitarist to master Albatross EP

[In The Studio]
Album: Dinner Is You EP
Due Out: May
Producer: Self-produced/ Andy LaRocque (mastering)

Deepti Unni Mar 10, 2010
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Loud, blaring music rebounds off the corridors of Hostel 2 in IIT Mumbai from every room ”“ Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Pink Floyd ”“ but right at the end of the hall bits and pieces of unfamiliar music hesitantly float out of the last cubbyhole. This unlikely place is where power-metal band Albatross are busy recording their debut EP. “It was the cheapest place to record,” sheepishly grins Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, the current resident of the room and the guitarist of the band, as he negotiates some space in the midst of stacks of books and gear that litter the room. And the reason the band have redoubled their effort over the last few days is because they’ve had some fantastic news ”“ Andy LaRocque, guitarist of King Diamond has agreed to master their EP.

Albatross first kicked off as ex-Old Monks and current Workshop bassist Riju Dasgupta’s pet power metal project two years ago. Moulded around the sound of his favourite heavy metal band, King Diamond, Dasgupta and vocalist Biprorshee Das began to look for musicians to flesh out a full-fledged live band. “Me and Bipro wanted to start a traditional power metal band about two years ago and we couldn’t decide on a band name so it didn’t take off. Albatross, the name, came from Iron Maiden’s ”˜Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and it perfectly embodied the whole spirit of what the band is about ”“ storytelling and metal.” To that end he signed up Bhattacharyya, drummer Jay Thacker and guitarist Jimmy Alexander and started working on their debut album but prohibitive costs made them cut it down to an EP. The four tracks on the EP draw their influence heavily from King Diamond, each telling a short horror story that fits together to make one composite tale of morbidity that includes everything from a plague epidemic to cannibalism.

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During the course of recording the album, the band began discussing who they’d like to produce the album and threw a few fantasy names across, one of which was Andy LaRocque, the Grammy-nominated guitarist who played in both King Diamond and Death. “I wanted to play in this band because I wanted to do something that had a King Diamond-esque influence and Raj wanted to do something Death-esque and Andy LaRocque’s played for both bands,” grins Dasgupta. “It started out as a joke between us, ”˜Why not get Andy LaRocque to do it?’ So this one time when I got drunk, I mailed Andy. After a bit of negotiations and after I told him what a huge King Diamond fan I was, he agreed to do it.” The band is scrambling to finish recording in time to meet their May deadline as the mixes have to travel all the way to Sonic Train Studios in Sweden where they will eventually be mastered. “This EP going to surprise a lot of people,” says Dasgupta, “and in time hopefully we’ll be able to make an entire stage production of it.”

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