Fates Warning frontman Ray Alder has announced his forthcoming second solo LP, the aptly titled II, due out June 9 via InsideOut Music. The sophomore release is the follow up to Alder's first solo work, What the Water Wants, released in 2019. The announcement comes with the news of the album's first single, "This Hollow Shell," and the accompanying lyric video seen just below.
About the track, Alder said via press release, "When I first heard this song, I knew that it was going to be one of my favorites on the new album. It was dark and moody with tons of changes. It was like a huge blank canvas that I couldn't wait to begin painting on. In the end, it became one of the songs on the album that I am most proud of."
Wanting to do something different from his debut LP, fans of What the Water Wants should expect a more exploratory album, something of which Alder is genuinely excited and optimistic.
"When we wrote the first solo album, I wanted to try some different musical styles," Alder recalled. "I didn't want it to be really heavy, but more musical with catchy choruses. I think we did a pretty good job on that first one. But with this new album I wanted the music and lyrics to be darker and heavier…. This album is more of a reflection of what I heard going forward as a solo artist. Longer songs, deeper lyrics and really pushing myself vocally. I hope that whoever listens to it enjoys it as much as I did while working on it."
II features songwriting contributions from Fates Warning touring guitarist Mike Abdow and guitarist Tony Hernando of Lords of Black, who both also play on the album, along with drummer Craig Anderson (Ignite, Crescent Shield). The LP was mixed by Simone Mularoni. A pre-order/pre-save for II is available here.