TUNGSTEN To Release New Album In May

Long-running Chalmette, Louisiana-based metallers TUNGSTEN have set "If Death Doesn't Change You… Nothing Will" as the title of their fifth album, tentatively due mid-May via the group's own label, Tungsten Music Records. The complete track listing for the effort is as follows:

01. Leave the Dust Behind
02. Drive
03. It Was the Day She Died
04. I'm Gonna Show You
05. Got To Get Through This
06. What These Eyes Have Seen
07. See Me Through
08. Never Crawl
09. What Was
10. It Was the Day He Died
11. Can't Turn Back Anymore
12. One Last Sunset With You

The album, which features the classic lineup of Mark Talamo (drums), Steve Talamo (bass, lead guitar) and Al Hodge (vocals, rhythm guitar), was recorded at H/T studios in Chalmette, Louisiana (just outside of New Orleans) and was produced and engineered by Mark Talamo (who engineered all of the previous TUNGSTEN albums, in addition to working on CROWBAR's 1993 self-titled record and the very first DOWN demo in 1992).

The writing and recording process for "If Death Doesn't Change You… Nothing Will" was approached in a very different way compared to the way the band used to work in the past.

"When it came to the writing process for this album, I was completely dry after the writing session for the last album, 'The Abuse' (released April 2003)," explained Hodge. "That's when I started to really deal with the grief of losing my Dad, who had died in 2002. I didn't want to play the guitar anymore or sing and I thought about quitting music altogether, to be honest, but Mark stepped up to the plate and started to 'craft' a bunch of songs. It was the first time that the roles were reversed in the band.

"Mark is a very determined person and has the drive like no other," Al continued. "He will work and work on a project until it is done and that's what he did. He came up with 12 songs and gave me the disc of the rough versions of them and I jammed to them and thought they were great. Little by little, I started to write the lyrics to them and then he would show me how the songs were played and we demoed them. We jammed to that for a while and then it was time to start the real recording process in October of 2004 and this is where Mark came up with the idea of doing all of the tracks in one take only. It was a direct rebellion against the 'cut-and-paste' way of recording that has become a standard by most bands over the last few years. It was very hard at first to get it, but in the end, I think it made the record sound a lot better, because of the agitation and the frustration of trying to get a song all in one take, it made the songs have a bit more of an attitude that is evident in the playing.

"Another thing I should point out, it that on this album Steve Talamo came in and really hit some homeruns in the aspect of his solos. He really helped accent the songs where they needed to be accented and really added a lot of his brand of flavoring that made the stuff really come alive.

"I find that with each record the band gets better and better and the songs do too. But the listener will have to be the judge of that. I just know that we are all very happy with the outcome. It has been the hardest album I have ever had to make, but I wouldn't change a thing."

Regarding the concept behind the album's lyrics, Hodge said, "The idea lyrically behind this record was taking a look at myself over the course of the last three years and what I saw. I used to be this invincible person that wasn't affected by death, and thought that only happened to other people. I lived in this happy little bubble and was a care-free person that just lived life day to day. I had seen other people lose family members or friends over the years, but I didn't truly understand the effects of a death until May 6, 2002 when it happened to me. It opened my eyes and everything changed... It was the day my father died, and it felt like a hole was ripped in me. My world was destroyed and I felt like I wanted to die as well. It took that loss to really see and know what anybody that has lost had felt. In the process of trying to get my life together, I drank myself into a stupor and ran from the issue of dealing with it. I searched for songs, anything that would help me with my grief, but I came up dry and decided to dig deep into myself and pour out everything that I was feeling and still am feeling about the loss and put them to music.

"This album is about the trail that I had to go through as an invincible doe-eyed kid, that was actually an adult in age, that had to lose his father to become a man, and during the course of dealing with that tremendous loss, getting dealt another death card as I watched the one girl that I truly loved and cared for die in front of me on August 30, 2003. Losing those two important figures in my life really destroyed me and changed me. It made me see the world in two halves — those who know and those who don't.

"When you get dealt a heavy wave like that in a short amount of time, you never really bounce back. You never see things like you used to.

"I know that I'm not the only one that has been through what I've been through — all of us will have to face this process one time one another during our lifetime.

"This is an album about those left behind. You never truly get over the loss you just learn to live with it, but like I always said; if you knock on your neighbor's door, his woes will always be worse than your own. So this record is the story that I told when somebody knocked on my door with a lending ear.

"This album has helped me a lot and it took a few years to be able to write out what I was feeling and going through. I hope it can help anybody out that has been where I've been. Like the title says, 'If Death Doesn't Change You… Nothing Will'. And I can say in all honesty, that it has changed me."

The "Leave the Dust Behind" single will be available for download at www.tungstenmusic.com in April. Ordering information for the new album will be posted at the group's official web site around the same time.

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