After 15 years and 10 CDs as guitarist, producer and composer for the German heavy metal institution RAGE, and with hits penned by him like “Down”, “Soundchaser”, “War Of Worlds”, “Straight To Hell” (well known from the German blockbuster movie “Manitou’s Shoe”), “Carved In Stone”, “Forever Dead”, “Empty Hollow” and “Cleansed By Fire”, Victor Smolski now continues his musical career with his new group ALMANAC. The guitar virtuoso’s composition “Suite Lingua Mortis” was first released on the successful 2006 RAGE record “Speak Of The Dead”, and it helped build the classical foundation for the new, more versatile yet even playful LINGUA MORTIS ORCHESTRA sound. Their “LMO” release in 2013 scored them a big success by outselling RAGE’s most releases and charted in Germany at #24 on the official album charts. In comparison to RAGE, “LMO” offered fresh song material entirely composed by Smolski, a new musical concept combining heavy metal with classical music, songs written especially for a band and orchestra plus several male and female singers sharing the lead vocal job.
This success story now continues with ALMANAC who add a powerful touch of heaviness to LINGUA MORTIS ORCHESTRA’s unique sound. The Belarus-born guitarist Smolski with this new group is joined in this new group by former LINGUA MORTIS ORCHESTRA bandmembers Jeanette Marchewka (vocals) and the symphony orchestra Orquestra Barcelona Filharmonia and White Russian Symphony Orchestra. New in the lineup are bass player Armin Alic, drummer Michael Kolar and keyboardist Enric Garcia. Two high-class singers David Readman (PINK CREAM 69) and Andy B. Franck (BRAINSTORM) complete the extremely prominent lineup. Most recently, ALMANAC have signed a record deal with the world’s leading heavy metal label Nuclear Blast. Their debut album, called “Tsar”, will be released in March 2016.
The band gives some insight into their studio work in the form of their first studio trailer, which can be viewed below.
For all the members of ALMANAC, “Tsar” is a new, exciting, and very interesting chapter. Traditional metal in conjunction with classical music, world music and elements of Russian folklore with a modern sound all make ALMANAC a compelling and absolute listening experience.
Singer David Readman states: “When I was first asked by Victor to join the band, I felt very honored to be a part of a new great band. I have to admit I was very uncertain where we would go musically with the band, and this was my feeling even as I entered the studio a few weeks ago. As soon as we started to record, it was very clear to me that this would be a great collaboration of musicians creating a masterpiece… The whole experience from the first pre-production recording in my home studio and writing lyrics to finally getting the real emotion on tape with Seeb and Victor was an evolution. Some records are difficult to make, but this was just easy!”
Fans with an interest in deeper subjects including history and culture will also be able to dive into a new world with “Tsar”, which combines historic and modern parallels that will surprise many. From the warlike nomadic horsemen in the steppes of Russia, to the tsardom, Ivan the Terrible, warlike Cossacks who dominate the Tatar, the siege of Constantinople and the Mongol invasion are stories about battles, wars, intrigue, conquest, terror, power and love that can be heard vocally using the different styles of the singer’s voices.
The first phase is already complete, and now the band is currently engaged in working on the arrangements of the songs. Victor Smolski says: “We’re thrilled about this first release and of the many albums to come, commencing from March 2016. Also we are very eager to let loose the mighty power of ALMANAC to the people, on as many different platforms as possible as well as on stage.”
Vocalist Andy B. Franck adds: “Vocal recordings for the very first ALMANAC album are done… and I can’t believe how amazing all of the songs are. Incredibly intense, melodic, extremely powerful, aggressive and symphonic… all in one. Victor has created a monster of an album… it’s great beeing a part of it!”
ALMANAC has just been confirmed for the Winter Masters Of Rock in Zlin, Czech Republic on November 15.