Richard Dawson & Circle share opening track 'Cooksonia' of plant-themed album

Album 'Henki' is out Friday November 26

Next Friday, November 26, Richard Dawson & Circle will release 'Henki' via Weird World, their first collaborative album and easily the greatest flora-themed hypno-folk-metal record you’ll hear this year. Today, the prolific troubadour from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the genre-straddling pioneers of the New Wave of Finnish Heavy Metal share a last preview, in the form of album opener “Cooksonia”.

“Cooksonia” is named after eminent Australian palaeontologist Isobel Cookson (1893-1973), recognized for her studies of the first land-based vascular plant occurring between 370 to 410 million years ago. When Dawson sings about characters from the past, he sometimes feels he is transported back to their times; in evoking Cookson’s spirit, Dawson wondered whether she had travelled back herself, however briefly, to a time before there were any plants on earth.

Each of Henki’s seven epic songs is inspired by special plants throughout history. “Lily”, while not directly botanical, is about the ghostly visions Dawson’s mother saw while a nurse with Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary; “Methuselah” is so named after the world’s oldest tree and its accidental destruction by an ice age researcher in 1964.

Richard Dawson became obsessed with Circle after hearing their 2007 album Tower: I realised what an incredible band they are, incorporating so much of what I was interested in, from the metal side to the more shamanistic nature music.” After they hit it off on Twitter, Circle invited Dawson to play with them at Helsinki’s Sideways Festival in 2019 – a moment Richard says was “like suddenly being asked to go onstage with Iron Maiden.” From there, Henki was assembled during two mammoth recording sessions in Pori, a seaside Finnish city, and remotely.

Circle, described as "the world’s greatest band - in every category” are Pekka Jääskeläinen (guitar), Julius Jääskeläinen (guitar), Jussi Lehtisalo (bass, voice), Mika Rättö (keyboard, voice), Tomi Leppänen (drums) and Janne Westerlund (guitar, voice). Richard Dawson plays guitar and vocals. Henki was mixed by Antti Uusimäki and mastered by Christian Wright.

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