Well... It took quite a lot longer than expected but we finally got there!
We are now taking pre-orders for 'Under A Dying Sun'. We've received proofs from the pressing facility and it looks great - so you will not be disappointed in purchasing your own piece of Sonic Altar history! Click the image below to go to our store page to pre-order now.
Some of you might be thinking 'So what actually happened and why did this take so long?'
Here's a brief little history on 'Under A Dying Sun' and the subsequent hiatus of the band from 2014 - 2017...
The album was recorded during 2012. It featured mostly newly written material, other than Angelcry which had been written not long after we finished 'No Sacrifice'. I took over the recording and production duties this time around as we were recording it in the same studio facility where we rehearsed and where we recorded most of the first album. However, recording and producing your own band and music is quite different to working with an external producer. It's easy to second guess things along the way or overthink something because you are so close to every aspect of the production. In the beginning, I think we ended up recording a few tracks 3 to 4 times before we agreed we were happy with the sound! Thankfully, from then on, it was smooth sailing!
Towards the end of the recording process, I admitted to the rest of the band and our management that mixing it myself might not be the best idea and that getting some fresh ears on-board could be very beneficial. We shopped around a little but there was always one sound and one guy that we kept coming back to: Mikko Karmila. Mikko had mixed some bands and music that we loved and we were all fans of his work. I I got in touch with Finnvox in Helsinki (Finland) where Mikko mixes out of and we arranged some time to mix the album. Coincidentally, Mika Jusilla was arranged to master the album as well while I was there. Mika masters the majority of Mikko's work (at Finnvox as well) and is an extremely talented engineer. Not to mention, a great guy!
Arriving in Helsinki at the end of 2012, it was a very exciting time and a real pleasure to work with these talented gentlemen at Finnvox. A couple of weeks, too much Lonkero (thanks Mika) and the album was ready to go. Returning back to New Zealand, I felt very proud of what we had accomplished in Finland, with two of the best engineers in metal. We had artwork underway and produced a short run of the 'Blood Betrayal' EP with two tracks from the album and a bonus cover of Iron Maiden's 'Two Minutes to Midnight', which was a song that was a live cover fan favorite that we often played during the years prior. The EP was supposed to tie us over until the album was pressed and give us something to tour with in support of 'Blood Betrayal' being released as a single.
It all seemed to be going so well! But things had broken down a little in the downtime after the excitement of making the album. After the New Zealand tour supporting Blood Betrayal, things were less than ideal and morale was quite low. The tour wasn't organized by us and overall it didn't really meet our expectations. The shows we played were always fun and we gave it our all, but sometimes it's the stuff on either side or before and after that can really take a toll. For whatever reason, the album pressing just didn't get past the finish line and our conviction started to wane. Maybe I had burned out a little bit. Maybe we all had... Not long after, Dave and I fled to Sweden and did something else musically for a few years. That, is another story altogether!
Despite a somewhat sad dip in our story, I never could entertain the idea of Sonic Altar not existing somehow. After all, this band had been my life since I was in high school and I know the others feel very similar to me. It was our united dream machine. The dream wasn't to be 'rockstars' but to be able to do what we loved. Also, there was very little resentment between us and certainly nothing that couldn't be sorted out over a few beers. The thing is, we had been friends for such a long time that our friendship was unfazed by the potential destruction of the band. And so now, I feel it's the right time to resurrect 'Under A Dying Sun' from where we left it and set the record straight.
Ultimately, the decision to get these physical copies made is largely thanks to the overwhelming amount of requests that fans have sent to us either via email or on Facebook over the years. All of us have been humbled by the response and would like to thank you all for your support.
Between this and the writing of album III, we are all very excited about the future of the band and really getting back to the music.
Thanks again for your support!