As the international prog metal band get ready to release their new album next week, it seems like a good time to introduce Ralf Scheepers’ new band.
BLACKWELDER began as the long-awaited follow up to Seven Seraphim’s “Believe in Angels”. Bit by bit, as the songs materialized, it became evident to mainman Andrew Szucs that this music should carry the banner of a new musical entity, emerging from a richer, darker source thus, BLACKWELDER was born.
Andrew began this musical journey alone, however, once he completed the framework for all of the songs, the band members began to fall into place like pieces of a puzzle. Bjorn Englen was the first to climb aboard, expertly adding his bass lines to the songs. Bjorn would later go on tour with Tony MacAlpine alongside drummer Aquiles Priester, after which, it seemed only natural to keep this rhythm section intact for BLACKWELDER. Once Andrew’s guitars were recorded, it became evident that a true powerhouse vocalist was needed to carry these songs to completion. Not just any voice would do. BLACKWELDER would need the stratospheric vocal styling’s characterized by the rich tradition of European heavy metal, and who better to do that than the voice of Primal Fear: Ralf Scheepers.
Ralf’s voice and lyrical themes are a natural fit to the songs of BLACKWELDER; blending and contrasting with the Marshall-based guitar tones in perfect harmony. Topping off this powerful line-up is the unparalleled drumming of Aquiles Priester. After meeting at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA, Andrew and Aquiles agreed to finish the songs with Aquiles’ unique pyrotechnic display of progressive metal drumming techniques—and what a display it is.