Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Hammer on Hammer with Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull has released their latest single, ‘Hammer on Hammer‘, that takes inspiration from the Norse god Thor, described as “a loyal and honourable warrior who wears a powerful symbolic belt and wields a hammer. His mortal enemy and nemesis was Jormungand the sea-serpent.”

The single finds lead singer Ian Anderson in fine poetic lyric form, the band reinforcing the attributes afforded the god with hardy force.

The song is taken from the 23rd studio album to go under the group banner head. Titled RökFlöte it’s set for release on the 21st April 2023 via InsideOutMusic.

RökFlöte will be premiered in Dolby Atmos immersive audio on the 17th April at Dolby Studios in London. The special event will see Ian Anderson in attendance alongside Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief) who undertook the mixing for this spatial audio version.

Following 2022’s The Zealot Gene, the band’s first album in two decades, RökFlöte finds them returning with a 12-track record based on the characters and roles of some of the principle gods of the old Norse paganism, and at the same time exploring the “rökFlöte”, or rock flute, an instrument that Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson has made iconic.

“The title of this offering went through a little change or two along the way,” Anderson commented. “I started with the idea of a predominantly instrumental album for rock flute – as in rock music. When the subject material of the album presented itself, I was drawn to the term Ragnarök from Norse mythology – their version of apocalyptic end times or Biblical Armageddon.

“The final showdown scenario is ubiquitous and inherent in Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, for example. Ragnarök translates as “destiny of the gods”, the rök part meaning destiny, course, direction. With umlaut firmly in place, courtesy of the Germanic origins of Old Norse, flute became flöte in keeping with the spelling. With me so far? I just can’t miss the glorious opportunity for a good and legitimate umlaut.”

Back in March, Jethro Tull let loose the second single let loose from the album, with an edited version of ‘The Navigators’, again mixed by Bruce Soord. That song explores Njord, who was the Vanir god of wealth, fertility, the sea and seafaring.

You can also watch the video for the song, as created by Christian Rios, here at RAMzine.

Previous to ‘The Naavigators’, Jethro Tull released ‘Ginnungagap’ as a single – That track takes inspiration from the tales of ice giant Ymir, the proto-being, a primeval being, who was born from venom that dripped from the icy rivers called the Élivágar, and lived in the grassless void of Ginnungagap.Described as “stunning” an animated video, created by Costin Chioreanu, has been released to accompany the single, and you can also watch that right here at RAMzine.

The full track listing for RökFlöte is: ‘Voluspo’, ‘Ginnungagap’, Allfather’, ‘The Feathered Consort’, ‘Hammer On Hammer’, ‘Wolf Unchained’, ‘The Perfect One’, ‘Trickster (And The Mistletoe)’, ‘Cornucopia’, ‘The Navigators’, ‘Guardian’s Watch’ and ‘Ithavoll’.

RökFlöte will be available on several different formats, including two limited deluxe formats that include bonus demo material, extensive liner notes & a blu-ray featuring Dolby Atmos, 5.1 surround sound, alternative stereo mixes by Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief), as well as a bonus track and in-depth interview with Ian Anderson. The album will also be available digitally in the spatial audio formats Dolby Atmos & Sony 360 RA, among others.

RökFlöte can be pre-ordered by clicking here.

With more than 30 albums to their credit and sales totalling more than 50 million, Jethro Tull are one of the most successful rock bands of all-time with a catalogue that contains classics that still resonate today.

The band now consisting of Ian Anderson – Concert and alto flutes, dlute d’amour, Irish whistle and vocals, David Goodier – Bass guitar, John O’Hara – Piano, keyboards and Hammond organ, Scott Hammond – Drums, Joe Parrish-James – Electric & acoustic guitars, and mandolin, will continue to perform live this year, including mainland Europe dates, all of which can be found here.

Released last year, Jethro Tull’s 22nd studio album, The Zealot Gene, garnered critical acclaim internationally. Reaching #9 in the UK album charts, a feat the band hadn’t reached since 1972, it also debuted at #4 in Germany, #3 in Switzerland, #5 in Austria, #8 in Finland, as well as top 10 in the US Album Charts, Current Album Charts and Rock Album Charts.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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