West Virginia-based heavy instrumentalists SEVEN PLANETS will release their third full-length, fittingly titled Explorer, in early 2020 through Detroit’s Small Stone Records.
Drawing on classic metal, heavy boogie, and blues rock, the group formed in 2007 and consists of guitarists Leonard Hanks and Jim Way, bassist Mike Williams, and drummer Ben Pitt, all of whom have played in bands together in different configurations for over twenty-five years. Its groove-anchored sound has drawn comparisons to Brant Bjork and Clutch-offshoot The Bakerton Group with The Obelisk noting, “the instrumental chemistry and stylistic foundation… fuse the varying sides of their sound into a cohesive funky, heavy psychedelic whole, entirely their own.”
Written and recorded over a period of personal difficulties and individual strife for the four band members, Explorer captures a sense of escapist freedom in its deep grooves, burly riffs, and expansive atmosphere, which further illustrates what Heavy Planet stated in its review of the band’s self-titled 2012 LP, “SEVEN PLANETS take you on an amazing journey into another cosmic dimension.”
Notes Hanks, “The writing and recording of Explorer was a long and interrupted process. We started writing the album in early 2014. But in April of that year I was diagnosed with cancer and had to have surgery so there was a hiatus while I recovered. Then Jim was unavailable the last few months of that year. 2015 started with the same intentions of getting the album done but more personal issues came up, so it wasn’t until 2016 that we were really able to get to work on it. Finally, in 2017 we were able to pull everything that we had been working on together and get a cohesive album mixed. Mike who had been dealing with some things had to leave the band after the album was done. Fortunately for us, our good friend Chris Berry stepped right in to pick up where he left off. One thing we wanted to do with this album was have a few more up-tempo, straight forward songs. ‘Vanguard,’ ‘206,’ and ‘The Buzzard’ came from that. The other songs on the album feel like an evolution of what we’ve been doing for years.”
Explorer features artwork by renowned German illustrator Alexander von Wieding (Monster Magnet, Brant Bjork, Karma To Burn, etc.), giving further representation to the idea of escape with a spacebound retro-style rocket headed to the unknown. Exploration in the truest sense.
Explorer will be released on CD, digital, and limited-edition vinyl formats (available in two color variants: 200 green marble and 300 purple) on February 7th, 2020.
For preorders and to sample opening track “Vanguard,” visit the Small Stone Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION. Fans of Clutch, Brant Bjork, and Monster Magnet pay heed.
Explorer Track Listing:
2. Plain Truth In A Homespun Dress
5. Seven Seas
6. Great Attractor
8. The Buzzard