Megadeth bassist David Ellefson and guitarist Chris Poland have shared a new posthumous Fatal Opera collaboration, “The Raven,” in honor of former Megadeth drummer Gar Samuelson. “The Raven” is part of a new twelve-song collection of demos and other material compiled into a final release, Fatal Opera 3, which is out now via Combat Records.
“The Raven” starts off with fast rock drums, heavy guitar lines and dark vocals. As the song progresses, the drums slow down and the track begins to open up, only to speed up and gain energy once again. Chris Poland recalls, “Back in the day, long before Megadeth, Gar and his brother Stew were the heart and soul of a heavy instrumental jazz/rock project called The New Yorkers. I played guitar with them and Robbie “Pag” Pagliari played fretless bass. It was everything we could do just to keep up! Stew’s right hand was a machine. Flawless. And Gar was right there with him always pushing things to the next level. And again, these two brothers were the heart and soul of Fatal Opera. It was a privilege to be a part of this release, and playing on ‘The Raven’ with David Ellefson made it that much more special. Gar was a true artist. Be it his amazing drumming, his painting or his wood sculpture pipe (he made by hand). Gar was one of a kind. And here Gar, Stew and crew push the limits of experimental metal. These songs are complex yet accessible. Music with a dark side that draws you into their world and keeps you wondering ‘what’s next!’”
David Ellefson adds,“This is a really cool moment for Chris and me to musically reunite with our friend Gar, now almost 35 years after our last studio session together, which was the 1987 re-recording of ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ for the Dudes movie soundtrack, compiled by director Penelope Spheeris. Gar was always such a free spirit with his music, no click tracks or digital reinvention for him. And, he seldom played the same thing twice, quite unusual for heavy metal! He just went for it with real gusto and that became the hallmark of his sound.”
He continues, “When I was laying down the bass track for ‘The Raven’ it reminded me once again of Gar’s spontaneity in the studio, as if we were recording live in the same room together. I’m super happy these tracks were brought to life so we could have one last go around with Gar behind the kit. It’s a reminder that he truly was one of the greats!”
Recently, Megadeth postponed the release of their upcoming album, The Sick, The Dying, and The Dead to Summer 2022.
Track Listing for Fatal Opera 3
|1.||The Raven (Feat. David Ellefson & Chris Poland)|
|3.||Mask of Time (Feat. Chris Poland)|
|4.||Killers in the Night|
|6.||Burning of the Midnight Lamp|
|7.||10 Years Gone|
|11.||Wings of Pain|
|12.||Jumped in the Pot|
Photo Credit: Mauricio Alvarado