“Ragnarok” is the 7th solo album by HB3 and the 3rd part of a “mythic trilogy” beginning with 2011’s “Magic Circles” and “Poseidon: Fantasia for Piccolo Bass.” An instrumental album which focuses on the bass guitar, “Ragnarok” expresses an adventurous, soaring, prog-rock sensibility. Tracks 1-4 feature HB3 on the piccolo bass before switching to a regularly tuned 4-string bass in a re-telling of the mythic story of Ragnarok, the “twilight of the gods.” Release date: 6/1/2013.
1) Machines of the Sky (7:04) – On the first two tracks on “Ragnarok,” what would normally be performed on guitar is played on piccolo bass, with the bass part performed on a Moog Taurus 3, combining to create an epic, grandiose sound.
2) Ragnarok (5:32) – The title track, again played on piccolo bass and the Moog Taurus 3. “The piccolo tone is reminiscent of a baritone guitar in a spaghetti western,” writes HB3. “This seemed appropriately warlike.”
3) Three Hearts and Three Lions (5:32) – A brief respite from the intensity of tracks 1 & 2. No synthesizers were used in the creation of this track.
4) Ragnerian (3:42) – A solo piece reprising the musical theme of the title track, reminiscent of the solo performances on 2009’s “HB3 Plays the Piccolo bass” and 2011’s “Poseidon: Fantasia for Piccolo Bass.”
5) Nightwind (4:44) – The album now switches to regularly tuned 4 string bass. The riff is inspired by the ‘Doctor Who’ theme and the track in general by 70s electronic music, ie, Giorgio Moroder’s “The Chase” and Jarre’s “Equinox.” This track begins the re-telling of the Ragnarok myth, representing “the gathering storm.”
6) A Passage to Arms (4:44) – A tribute to the classic rhythm section of Deep Purple’s “Live in Japan,” the gathering storm of “Nightwind” continues into open warfare, “A Passage to Arms.”
7) Level 7 (3:41) – Solo piece performed on bass guitar; the smoldering aftermath of battle.
8) The Remnant (7:07) – Switching back to piccolo bass, the final track represents mythic rebirth.
“I wanted to create something that’s fun and slightly campy, but mostly serious,” writes HB3. “Something with a lot of aggressive playing, formally structured, with songs listeners can follow in a complete story.”