On November 10th 2017 Instant Classic will release a new album from Poland, Warsaw-based experimental group Merkabah. Entitled “Million Miles”, the record contains eight new tracks merging free jazz and avantgarde metal.
It’s been over 3 years since Merkabah released their previous album “Moloch” that brought them worldwide recognition, just to mention The Quietus’ “best of 2014 list”. “Our work on ‘Million Miles started shortly before ‘Moloch’ was released,” admits band’s drummer Kuba Sokólski. “Mixing took a lot of time and effort and it seemed natural for us to get around and try writing new stuff. It turned out that two new tracks ended up on our setlist on ‘Moloch’ release party,” he adds. “Those two tracks, although rearranged, ended up on ‘Million Miles’. The whole process took so long mainly because of our daily jobs, relationships and what not. We decided to take our time and let the music take proper shape,” explains Gabriel Orłowski (guitar).
“It wasn’t until half of the record was written when it dawned on us that new tracks sound more wayward and unsettled then their predecessors. That’s when the album’s concept came to a fruition and we managed to get on proper tracks,” recalls Gabriel. “At the very beginning we wanted calm and slow down after such a heavy record as ‘Moloch’ is. This turned out rather contrary, with writing one of the most intensive tracks on ‘Million Miles’,” adds saxophonist Rafał Wawszkiewicz.
The recording session took place in Raven Studio located in the South of Poland. “One of the most important aspects of our work was to make sure that the songs are fun to play live. We wanted them to have more layers and space, and that’s why we chose to reflect this in our sound. We decided to record most of the album live in Raven Studio,” says Sokólski. “We had the basic structures ready by the time we entered the studio but we made sure to leave some space for free improvising,” adds Wawszkiewicz.
In conceptual approach, “Million Miles” is a consequence of the direction first took on “Moloch”. One theme bonds together the whole album, as it’s narration coils around a sea legend, that has traits proper of an ancient myth. It goes via strength and pride to exile, while it’s dynamics is shapen by a road full of conflict.