At The Gate, the third album of the Skallagrim trilogy, is set for release on 7 October. The new album follows Dreaming City (2020) and Skallagrim – Into The Breach (2021), bringing the story of the ‘thief with the screaming sword’ to its conclusion.
Vocalist Hannah Pyror is back to front the group and is joined by bandleader Steve Babb, keyboardist Fred Schendel, and drummer Aaron Raulston. In addition, vocalists Jon Davison (Yes) and John Beagley (Life In Digital) will contribute as well as guitarist Reese Boyd.
Babb says to expect another 70’s metal-influenced project but also promises a return to the symphonic-prog sound the band is best known for.
‘An album can be both things,’ he claims. ‘Since the inception of the trilogy in 2020, it’s been my intention to tell this sword and sorcery-inspired tale with appropriate music. And to do that, I needed the sound to evolve toward something grand by the end of the third album. Skallagrim’s story is one of lost joy, of grief, and longing, and ultimately of a worn-down swordsman’s coming to grips with what the world can and cannot offer him. It’s probably the most important story we’ve ever told through music, so important to me that it led me to retell it in novels.’ Babb’s book Skallagrim – In The Vales Of Pagarna was released in March of this year.
Babb adds, ‘So, for those who love our newer, edgier sound, they won’t be disappointed. But I’ve brought back the pipe organ, the choirs, and the sweeping ballads for those who miss the sounds of our earlier albums. I think it works, but the fans will be the ones to decide!’