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By Martin Popoff
"We didn't make this a theme album or concept album or anything," begins Urban on the title of the album, Matters Of The Dark. "But if you look at the lyrics, they tend to talk about dark things. You have 'The Devil's Finger' and you have 'I Know Your Name', which is about a stalker; 'Another Way' and 'Riding The Beast', that's pretty much dark stuff (laughs). 'Sword Of Retribution' is really about a board game. Have you heard of Games Workshop? You look at the rules to one of the games and you check the background story you'll notice that there is a huge battleship called Sword Of Retribution and we actually use that in one of the battles that we played. So it's all about that. 'Nuclear Skies'... imagine that you were a missile, and you get the picture; the whole song is sung from the perspective of a missile. I don't think we have too many strange songs on this album though, however I must say that 'Reason Of The Ghost' has way too prolonged an arrangement. It should have been cut down."
Tell me about Krunt's (Crister "Krunt" Andersson - guitars) comments that it's hard to get you working in the studio, but once you get going, you can sing for ages.
"The thing is, I can sing from the very beginning, until no matter how late it is, but the thing is, if I do that, I'm totally worn out the day after. It normally happens at one point or another, no matter which recording session it is, whichever album. I've always had to have some sort of break for a couple of days. And I think for this album it was worse than ever. I had to keep in absolute silence for ten days. I wasn't even allowed to speak, because I had developed acute laryngitis. If you look at this album, you'll notice we have a whole lot more backing vocals than we've ever had, so I had to do a whole lot more singing than I've ever done. So I was totally worn out pretty much halfway through and we had to take a break. I can sing for two or three hours straight. It's just when you work in the studio and have this kind of short time frame, I get to work like eight hours a day singing and that is not a good situation for a voice, especially when you're singing metal, where you have to give 100% all the time."
TAD MOROSE - Sparks In The Dark Page 4