It was beginning to look like the long promised Raw Silk comeback had become a journey of no return. A follow up album was originally conceived when Silk Under the Skin was re-released on CD way back in 2004.
Band founder Kostas Kyriakidis was fired up and committed to making it happen but - as so often with these things - there were a few false starts and detours along the road as well as some major high points which included successful reunion concerts in Athens and the discovery that the first album had developed a global audience.
So why exactly did the second album take so long?
Well, after the reunion gigs in the late noughties Kostas began working on new material but the sound was too much of a departure from the AOR Raw Silk vibe and was eventually released as a separate project on EP under the name of NFAB - Nostalgia for a Belief. The powerful vocals were supplied by Vassilis Axiotis of 'The Voice, Greece' fame.
The E.P. received rave reviews from Metal Hammer, Greece and was lauded as Recording of the Month + Best New and Upcoming Artist!
It's out there on Spotify and Amazon if you fancy a listen.
Shortly after the release of the NFAB E.P. Kostas relocated to the Black Country in the UK - the home of Metal - which gave birth to such greats as Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath.
He had some potential new Raw Silk tracks ready and George Florakis, singer from the first album, began work recording demos. Unfortunately they'd underestimated the problems of trying to make it work with band members living in different countries and this, coupled with the fact that Florakis is still in demand with other major projects in Greece, meant that the project just wasn't moving forward so Kostas reluctantly decided that he would need to abandon it again.
This seemed to have killed off the last chance of a second advent for the band but he was spurred on to complete it by the sudden, unexpected death of his lifelong friend, Christos Papathanasiou which left him wanting to create a fitting tribute to his memory. The tracks Solitude of Pain and the title track The Borders of Light flowed out of that sorrow.
Then, by chance, Kostas spotted an advert for a recently opened local recording facility - Vault Studios, Kingswinford - decided to check them out and discovered one of the owners, Chris Dando, was not only a great mixing artist but had the additional benefit of an amazing vocal talent. He recorded this amazing cover of Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek while with his previous band, Grace the Skies.
After agreeing to record the album at Vault further discussions led to Chris agreeing to collaborate further by taking on the vocals for The Borders of Light too.
Kostas recalls: "When Chris agreed to try out on the track Chimera I was blown away by the result and more determined than ever that he had to do the album."
From that point on, the Raw Silk path has mirrored that of the first album in many ways with the material being recorded as a studio project first followed by the formation of the band.
Vocalist and producer Chris Dando suggested adding the awesome talents of his friends and fellow musicians Daryl Gardner, James Marshall Stanley and Paul Thompson while Kostas brought in James Barratt to add the beautiful acoustic guitar sound and Stephanie Fowler for some haunting backing vocals.
Now we'd agree that twenty-six years between albums is certainly a long time to wait by any standard! However, the saying that 'all good things come to those who wait' certainly holds true in this case as shown by the release in 2017 of the epic album The Borders of Light which continues to garner strong reviews, attracted multiple label offers and has generated sales and airplay around the globe.
Let's hope there won't be another 26-year wait for the next album.
Next installment we'll share some behind the scenes footage of the recording of the album.