Ryan Adams has always straddled different musical worlds. His hefty discography incorporates country with alternative rock so seamlessly, that I've always found it a bit baffling. Even more baffling, though, was his announcement earlier this year that he would be putting out a "metal" album. He left The Cardinals, his go-to group, after 2008's Cardinology, citing problems with his hearing, and looking for a change of pace. Now, after two years, he has indeed decided to release something entirely different: Orion, a "Fully realized sci-fi metal concept album," recorded in 2006 with fellow Cardinal and producer Jamie Candiloro.
A few weeks ago, Adams warned fans to keep an eye out for the record, and sure enough, the record is here. The limited edition pressing materialized on his website last night, on 180-gram clear vinyl (which comes with a high-quality download), and artwork by Michel Langevin. The 13-track LP boasts songs such as "Defenders Of The Galaxy," "Ghorgon, Master Of War," and "Victims Of The Ice Brigade" — sweet. The band is billed as Adams, Candiloro, and Dale Nixon. That last name is kind of a mystery, though. Dale Nixon has been a popular hardcore-punk pseudonym in the past, originally used by Greg Ginn of Black Flag and even appropriated by the likes of Dave Grohl. For now, vinyl is the only way to hear Orion. Adams' website emphasizes: "Again, this is an extremely limited pressing. You've been warned."