Los Angeles progressive space rock quartet Vitskär Süden reveal their haunting video for “Shepherds On The Roadside” taken from their dark fantasy concept album “The Faceless King”, to be issued this November 4th on Ripple Music. The band also announced the release of an exclusive 24-page RPG module illustrated by David Paul Seymour to go with the vinyl edition of the album.
The captivating Californian foursome returns after their acclaimed 2020 self-titled debut with their brand new full-length “The Faceless King”, a fascinating 7-track collection of mystique-laden rock spells, the soundtrack of a not-so-distant future when the sun rises no more. Weaving progressive rock, heavy psychedelic and gothic folk into towering and intensely beautiful soundscapes enhanced by Martin Garner’s deep-toned commanding vocals, Vitskär Süden explores the eerie fringes of the rock world, meeting at the crossroads of Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Wovenhand, Lord Vicar and Jaye Jayle.
New video “Shepherds on the Roadside”
features mind-bending 3D visuals by Andrew Jarvis and was edited by guitarist TJ Webber. About the song, guitarist Julian Goldberger
says: “Shepherds is my favorite track on the album. Each of our unique skill sets is on full display as we collectively perform a summoning… As a band, you can hear how we’re all speaking to one another musically. Like a good conversation, it’s balanced and everyone is engaged. It also has a moving emotional aspect that resonates as it builds. It’s a great intro as to who we are as a band.
” Bassist and lyricist Martin Garner
adds: “Shepherds guides the story toward the record’s climax, both literally and musically. The necromantic rites to resurrect our story’s antihero have taken a dangerous turn. A reckless desire for power is unleashing much darker forces that can’t be controlled. A malevolent rebirth is taking place.
About the RPG module:
Vinyl editions of “The Faceless King” purchased directly from Ripple Music will ship with a retro-styled 24-page adventure module for the ‘world’s greatest roleplaying game’ which expands on the concept album’s story and world. Written by and featuring the band, Ascension of the Faceless King was illustrated by David Paul Seymour and serves as both a fully-playable adventure for RPG fans and an incredibly unique collectible and lyrics insert for listeners who may not own 20-sided dice.
Written by guitarist TJ Webber, bassist/vocalist Martin Garner and his brother Matt Garner, the module insert was a labor of love: “Several of us in the band are long-time D&D enthusiasts. Once we came up with the idea to create a module based around our album’s story, we had to see the project through. It wound up taking much longer than writing, recording and mixing the album did, but it was worth it. We wanted the module to stand up both in terms of its relationship to this record and on its own for the fans of both mediums who might be psyched to actually play it.”
The RPG module contains cameos by acclaimed cosmic horror author Laird Barron as well as Ripple Music CEO Todd Severin, whose characters inhabit the tavern in the adventure’s central village.
New album “The Faceless King”
Out November 4th on vinyl, CD and digital via Ripple Music
It’s clear that Los Angeles-based quartet Vitskär Süden operates from a shared musical consciousness. Having played together over the course of two decades, bassist/vocalist Martin Garner and drummer Christopher Martin unite effortlessly for a locked-in, half-time-heavy rhythm section approach. Guitarists Julian Goldberger and TJ Webber bring their own distinctive influences, touching on both the ambient and melodic but unified in an appreciation of layered sonic texture.
Drawing on elements of heavy psych and prog, their cosmic horror-inspired 2020 debut landed at #17 on Doom Charts’ best of the year list, also scoring an 8/10 review in Metal Hammer. Vitskär Süden are now ready to embrace its destiny, as the foursome recently signed to Californian powerhouse Ripple Music for the release of their anticipated sophomore album “The Faceless King” in the late fall of 2022. With stunning artwork by Samuel Araya, “The Faceless King” is a dark fantasy concept album that expands the Vitskär Süden mythos, weaving the origin story of the record’s antihero namesake. Acclaimed horror author Laird Barron describes it as “gorgeous and sinister; shoots images into my brain of blacklight posters of secret rites in lost, desecrated valleys performed while some bastard ’70s metal band croons a sword & sorcery drug rock accompaniment naming, song-by-song, a terrible thing that should remain nameless.”
Tackling themes of rebirth and the lust for power, “The Faceless King” retains the cosmic horror undertones of the band’s self-titled 2020 debut while leaning further into the fantasy realm to build out the mythology of the shadowy forces at work in their first record. It was recorded and produced by Vitskär Süden and Don Cento at Studio 64 in Los Angeles, mixed by Don Cento at CenTones, Austin, TX, and mastered by James Driscoll. It will be released on November 4th, 2022 on various vinyl formats, CD, and digital through Ripple Music. Listen to debut single “The Broken Crown“.
Vitskär Süden is:
Martin Garner – Bass/Vocals
Julian Goldberger – Guitar/Synths
Christopher Martin – Drums
TJ Webber – Guitar
Vitskär Süden links
Ripple Music links