AFTER FOREVER guitarist/songwriter Sander Gommans has issued the following update on his HDK project:
"The past period Amanda Somerville [the American singer-songwriter and vocal coach who is better known for her collaborations with various European metal bands, including EPICA, AFTER FOREVER and EDGUY — Ed.] and me finished the vocal recordings of HDK. Obviously, I've heard the songs a million times, but even I was surprised when I heard the endresult.
"I'm really happy that I've made the choice to work with Amanda; she really took the project to a higher level. Not only the lyrics have become really intense and interesting, the vocallines have also much more to offer than they originally had.
"HDK is much more agressive and guitar-oriented than AFTER FOREVER, but in combination with the varied vocals we now have, I think we've created a unique style that might be very difficult to market, but shows a combination of all kind of metal styles. We've combined rap (yes, aggressive rap, I think it really works out awesome in combination with grunts and clean vocals), grunts/screams, whispers etc, male melodic voices and Amanda's vocals without making it too intense.
"I think people who love AFTER FOREVER might still find the project interesting, because obviously I've still put some of the AFTER FOREVER elements in it (I've written music for AFTER FOREVER since 1995 so it's impossible not to do so). Amanda's vocals are also perfect for this kind of music, especially while she's able to sing great melodies combined with lots of emotion. She can do practically every style, she can record and edit stuff and has great ideas for melodies and lyrics. What more could I wish for?
"All the singers that participated did a great job, and without it wouldn't have led to this result. I will mention them in my next blog again and give a little bit more info about what they did!
"These are the most extreme songs we've recorded so far and it feels like a dream coming having this project realized! This album will contain lots of metal riffs, solos, a lot of different vocal styles, hyperactive drumming, bass guitars from hell and even some extreme keyboards, yeahhhhhhh!
"My next step will be completing the songs with a few additional instrumental passages (I've also wrote a classical guitar intro for one of the songs), negotiate with some metal labels about the project and after making a definite deal I will decide what to do with the mix.
"This could take a while though. In about a week I'll be off to L.A. to do some interviews concerning AFTER FOREVER and after that I'll start preparing for my come-back on stage with AFTER FOREVER. I'll keep you updated when that will happen."
HDK features contributions from the following musicians:
Amanda Somerville: Vocals
André Matos (ex-ANGRA, SHAAMAN, VIRGO): Vocals
Ariën van Weesenbeek (GOD DETHRONED): Drums
Joost van den Broek (SUN CAGED, AFTER FOREVER): Keyboards
Jos Severens (SUSTAIN): Vocals
Patrick Savelkoul (CALLENISH CIRCLE): Vocals
Paul Niessen (I WITNESS): Vocals
Peter Vink: Bass
Sander Gommans: Guitar, Vocals
Gommans is currently taking a break from AFTER FOREVER's touring activities under doctor's orders following "spells of vertigo and debilitating black-outs, followed or preceded by a migraine."