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It would certainly be remiss of me not to mention a new musical project featuring a good friend of ours, Blair Blake. Auricle is a new release from the band Butcher, whose members include former Kyuss member (and almost-Metallica/TOOL bass player) Scott Reeder, Camella Grace of the artistic duo Spiral Eyes (responsible for the video content at TOOL’s live shows), and Sasha Popovic of Mother Tongue.

Blair added his tasty keyboard stylings (sorry, always wanted to say that phrase) and visionary lyrics to a number of songs on Auricle. The general sound of the album seems to my ears to be a combination of rock, opera and gothic elements. Sample listens and information on ordering are available from the Butcher website, and Blair has a commentary on some of the songs at the TOOL website (scroll down through the news). On the subject of Blair’s lyrics, you can also find his book of occult-influenced prose, IJYNX, at the online shop over at Toolband.com.