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Crossing the Threshold

by The Loafing Heroes

This album began a new cycle in the band’s journey, as Ryan based himself in Lisbon. Recorded in a studio in Bica by Nuno Gracio and Alex Cortez, the album plays out as a more direct, wide-eyed adventure, where many of the twelve songs were composed on Rua da Saudade, overlooking the Tejo River —a river from which innumerable explorers, slaves, traders and natural scientists set off onto uncharted seas. Some of the band’s most explicitly epic songs can be found here, such as “Dream of the Celt”, which is an ode to the humanitarian and Irish revolutionary Roger Casement; and “Heavenly Waters” that reflects on the suicide of a brother. The opening track “The Trickster” has become a longtime companion for the project, led by the bass clarinet riff. Included are also some of their most successful songs live - such as “Digression” and “Into the Nothing”. Nearly eleven minutes in length, the title track and centrepiece of the album brings together many of the band’s compositional ideas into a multi-part adventure. Celebrated Portuguese artist Sara Maia’s cover art reflects the music’s positive spirit of renewal in the face of death at this moment. The album features an international lineup of Bartholomew Ryan (vocals & guitars), João Tordo (double bass), Judith Retzlik (violin), Jaime McGill (bass clarinet), Alexandre Andrade (trumpet) and Nuno Morão (percussion).

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