In 2018, Neptune released the long-awaited aggregate back catalog of collected demos and recordings from the 80s. There are not many people who are aware of the fact that there was even more unreleased material from this golden age. Several of these songs are now re-recorded which will be the last to be released with the original singer Ray “Rafven” Alex who sadly passed away earlier this year … but hey, what the story behind all this.
Neptune look at themselves as one of the earliest pioneers during the NWOSHM era. The band started already in the late 1970s or if it was early 80s. Even though the band had a solid frame, they underwent a couple of member changes where names such as Jan Granvik (Glory, Grave) and Björn Melander (Mogg, Gotham City) appear.
After several demos that unfortunately never saw the light of day, the band decided to make a more professional recording. A recording that now, 30 years later, was the main part of the album “Land of Northern”. With this recording, one had intended to raise record labels and pump them on a pleasing record contract. The recording took place in the prestigious Soundtrade studio with Alar Surna (Roxette) behind the mixing desk. Several meetings were held and one of the record companies thought it was so interesting that they paid for the entire recording.
For several reasons, it all went down the drain and the recording were put on the shelf for good, they thought. The band once again underwent some member changes and recorded a few more demos. After that the air went out of the band and singer Ray Alex was sought out by the former member Jan Granvik and the seed of the band Glory was born. Ray’s time in Glory lasted for about a year, which meant a single and a start to a full-length singer who later was released with another singer.
Anders Olsson, who was previously a guitarist in Neptune, now made recordings in his own studio together with Tosh Ason. One day when they in the middle of the recording of Unanimated’s debut album “In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead”, Ray called them up and told them that he was eager to start something again. This ended later with the the full-length demo “In Truth We Trust” under the band name Jar.
A seed is sown
One can think that the story of Neptune ends at this point, but oh so they deceived. Without the band’s knowledge, in 2003 one of their old demos “Enemies” is released on a collection record called “Metal Knights – The Resurgence of Swedish Steel”. This is considered to be the seed of something that took another 15 years before it broke out. In addition to this, a couple of the band’s old demos had leaked on YouTube and over time a sigh of more songs was created on a number of “fan sites”.
Late autumn 2017, a Greek record company (Cult Metal Classics) managed to get hold of one of the members of the band and notice that they would like to release the old recordings on both CD and vinyl. Of course, the band was not late to step on the train and 30 years after the band entered the studio, it finally got to keep the desirable vinyl in their hands.
Quite exactly one year later, in the fall of 2018, the band released two newly recorded singles with associated videos – Keep Us Alive and Dreamer. These two songs are written in the early 1980s and on the recordings, Janne Stark (Overdrive, Grand Design) played lead guitar.
The first gig takes place at The Abyss (with Mystik) thanks to faithful fans who have more or less managed the booking. The band’s first festival play takes place at Muskelrock now in June where they enter the stage on Saturday at the big stage at 22:00.
The band today consists of Roland Alexandersson – vocal, Tosh Ason – bass, Anders Olsson – guitar, Anders Lindqvist – guitar and Jonas Wikström – Drums
After the singer Ray sadly passed away back in January 2019, the band took a break to gather. The grief and the uncertainty were total but eventually Rays brother Roland decided to take over the role as a singer. It felt like the most natural solution and they were, after all, brothers.
The week before Ray’s death, the band made a recording and managed to catch Ray’s magic voice one last time. These recordings are scheduled to be released in the fall as an EP and as a tribute to Ray.
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