Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Forker

Acclaimed for his work as a founding member of prog metal standouts Haken, as well as Nova Collective, Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress, and as a Strandberg Guitars associate artist, Richard Henshall is now prepared to release his debut solo album, ‘The Cocoon’.   The album will be released on July 26th.

The first single “Twisted Shadows” was premiered earlier today on Prog.
Check it out here: 

Henshall says this about the track: “Twisted Shadows was born from some late night improvisations at my piano. I started playing an infectious groove-based idea which I later developed into a full band arrangement. The music is sparked by the quirkier and more atonal side of my sound, alongside some darker and heavier influences, with the likes of Prince, Frank Zappa, Dear Hunter and Meshuggah being primary sources of inspiration. I’ve celebrated the contrasting elements within the music and consciously pushed them in opposing directions, to give the song a strong sense of juxtaposition. Recording lead vocals was a little daunting at first but ultimately became an extremely enjoyable and rewarding process. The lyrics in this track help develop an overarching concept that ties the album together.

“Conner Green and Matt Lynch have done an amazing job of locking down the rhythm section which is the key element driving this song. I’m also extremely honoured to have my good friends Jordan Rudess and Ross Jennings as guest musicians on this track; they really helped bring the music to life with their incredible performances. Last but not least, Simon Grove did a stellar job of tying everything together with his killer mix and master.”

1. Pupa (2:26)
2. Cocoon (10:27)
3. Silken Chains (8:10)
4. Limbo (3:55)
5. Lunar Room (8:22)
6. Twisted Shadows (8:47)
7. Afterglow (5:16)

The album is available for pre-order here:

Consisting of tracks that range from dense polyrhythmic passages to delicate minimalistic interludes and everything in between, ‘The Cocoon’ features Henshall’s trademark guitar and keyboard playing throughout, and marks his debut performance as a lead vocalist.

The multi-layered, richly textured and often heart wrenching album, represents four years of creative input from Henshall and draws inspiration from artists such as Bon Iver, Meshuggah, Squarepusher and Tigran Hamasyan, which has resulted in, arguably, his most ambitious and eclectic work to date.

Completing the lineup for the release are Conner Green (Haken) on bass and Matthew Lynch (Cynic and Nova Collective) on drums. “Conner and Matt never cease to astound me with what they can achieve on their instruments. They both have a fresh, unique approach to playing, which has really breathed new life into the music on ‘The Cocoon’. They really outdid themselves on this record”

The album also features a stellar cast of guests including Jordan Rudess, Marco Sfogli, David Maxim Micic, Jazz saxophonist Adam Carrillo and Bent Knee’s Ben Levin, Jessica Kion and Chris Baum 

Richard Henshall online: