BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - Energetic look back

Bruce Springsteen's new album "Letter To You" comes as a surprise. But those who expected a real political album like "The Rising" after the 9/11 attacks in Corona and US election campaign times, will be disappointed. Although it is not a "letter" about the current state of the world, "Letter To You" is an album full of wisdom, on which the musician deals intensively with his past. And there is no reason for disappointment: Even if the snowy cover may evoke other associations, this musical "writing" is probably the most energetic E-Street band album since "Born In The U.S.A.". We go on a search for clues and shed light on the painful creation process of "Letter To You", dedicate ourselves to its heavy topics, the top-class songs and its special sound.

FATES WARNING - At the end of a long year

It is the darned 13th studio album and will be released in the darned year 2020: "Long Day Good Night" was anything but an easy birth, this becomes clear in the course of the conversation with Fates-Warning frontman Ray Alder. Since 1987 he has been at the centre of progressive metal - together with songwriter and guitarist Jim Matheos - and has helped to forge some of the gems of the genre. The new 72 minutes long and with 13 songs, which is in keeping with his status, now joins the ranks and convinces not least because of its newly opened doors.

Ray Alder is relaxed. He can be that too. A year of intensive work lies behind him and his band colleagues. Under adverse circumstances (Corona) and with a lot of pressure on the neck, "Long Day Good Night" was created. An album which the likeable musician himself - he admits in the course of the interview - has not heard for months. Nevertheless he knows a lot to tell.

YUSUF/CAT STEVENS - "This is me, this is my story"

When it was announced a few months ago that Yusuf aka Cat Stevens would not be releasing a popular remixed deluxe edition of his famous album "Tea For The Tillerman" on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his famous album "Tea For The Tillerman", many critical voices were raised. As the result shows, the experiment was worthwhile - the 72-year-old manages to give his classic album new relevance.

In the interview we meet a highly reflective and humorous Yusuf, who is enthusiastic about the new recording of his classic. One immediately believes him that it was above all a matter of the heart. As he explains in the interview, this project enabled him to build a bridge between the young Cat Stevens of yesteryear and the Yusuf of today.

eclipsed: Why did you decide to take the unusual approach of completely re-recording your classic "Tea For The Tillerman", rearranging the songs and even changing some of the lyrics?

JOE BONAMASSA - Back to the island

The title of JOE BONAMASSA's new album is programmatic in more than one respect: "Royal Tea", conceived and composed in England and produced at Abbey Road Studios, is the "feel-good" album that the New York-born Californian by choice always wanted to make. Even though the permanent tourer is quite tired of the corona-related forced break, his mood immediately brightens when he thinks back to the implementation of his English project.

THE FLOWER KINGS - "In times of this bizarre corona virus it is unfortunately also about isolation"

"Islands", the 14th album of the Flower Kings, is already the sixth double-decker of the Swedish prog formation - and according to band mastermind Roine Stolt this is completely unintentional. As he explains in the interview, the ambiguous title was created on a trip to Africa.

The Flower Kings have been around for a quarter of a century. If you consider that band boss, singer and guitarist Roine Stolt also has or had his nimble fingers in various other projects such as Kaipa, Transatlantic, The Tangent or The Sea Within, 14 studio albums in this period are a remarkable number, even if he obviously can draw from a veritable cornucopia of musical ideas. Despite the Corona crisis, the slag from Uppsala, Sweden, is "doing brilliantly", as he emphasizes during the phone call: "So why should I cut back when I enjoy being in the studio almost every day and working on new ideas?

KRAAN - The pure pleasure principle

In the 1970s KRAAN were a German jazz rock institution. After several break-ups, the band from Ulm has been active again since 2000 and is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. Appropriately, the new studio work "Sandglass" was released in October - a wonderfully light-hearted album on which Hellmut Hattler (vocals, bass), Peter Wolbrandt (vocals, guitar, synthesizer) and Jan Fride (drums) make music together in an almost telepathic way

Hellmut Hattler is noticeably proud of "Sandglass", which was created at the time of the lockdown and contains 13 compact pieces that were recorded with great taste. In an interview with eclipsed, the 68-year-old, who survived a leukaemia illness some time ago, talks about the recordings, tells about the healing effect of the album production and explains what has changed in the band chemistry since the time of the common community life

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX - "If you listen to our albums, you will see that it is always about the same miserable topics"

In their latest work, English post-rockers Crippled Black Phoenix once again deal with the human soul life - this time adding the state of the British nation
Just under a week before the release of "Ellengæst", we catch CBR founder Justin Greaves happily, even almost frolicsomely, in his study. As he tells us in conversation, he is already working on the next album. He also tells us about the recording sessions for the current album and the latest changes in his band.

eclipsed: How satisfied are you with the new album?

Justin Greaves: Very satisfied! But it's funny to talk about it, because we recorded the album last year in October. 

eclipsed: Two years ago, in the eclipsed interview, you said all that crap about the brexite and its effects should go away as soon as possible. Today, the brexite issue is still topical, plus the corona crisis. Dark times.