Haken guitarist Richard Henshall is about to release his debut solo album The Cocoon on July 26, and man does it sound awesome. Henshall's debut single "Twisted Shadows" is a perfect blend of straightforward catchiness and mind-melting prog, as you'd come to expect from the man. It also features Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess for maximum insanity.
Henshall will play guitar and sing on The Cocoon, and will be backed by bassist Conner Green (Haken) and drummer Matthew Lynch (Cynic, Nova Collective). The Cocoon will also feature guest spots from keyboardist Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), guitarists Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie), David Maxim Micic, and Ben Levin (Bent Knee), saxophonist Adam Carrillo, bassist Jessica Kion (Bent Knee), Haken vocalist Ross Jennings, and violinist Chris Baum.
Here's what Henshall had to say about the track.
"Twisted Shadows was born from some late night improvisations at my piano. I started playing an infectious groove-based idea which I later developed into a full band arrangement. The music is sparked by the quirkier and more atonal side of my sound, alongside some darker and heavier influences, with the likes of Prince, Frank Zappa, Dear Hunter and Meshuggah being primary sources of inspiration. I’ve celebrated the contrasting elements within the music and consciously pushed them in opposing directions, to give the song a strong sense of juxtaposition. Recording lead vocals was a little daunting at first but ultimately became an extremely enjoyable and rewarding process. The lyrics in this track help develop an overarching concept that ties the album together.
"Conner Green and Matt Lynch have done an amazing job of locking down the rhythm section which is the key element driving this song. I’m also extremely honoured to have my good friends Jordan Rudess and Ross Jennings as guest musicians on this track; they really helped bring the music to life with their incredible performances. Last but not least, Simon Grove did a stellar job of tying everything together with his killer mix and master."