• Burning Heart Records, Sweden (CD - world)
• Relapse Records, USA (CD - USA)
• Ritual Records/Howling Bull, Japan (CD - Japan)
• No Tolerance Records, Sweden (LP)
• Recorded and mixed at Soundlab Studios, Örebro, Sweden June 3-July 13 2004 by Mieszko Talarczyk.
• Mastered at Tailor Maid Studios, Spånga, Sweden July 19 2004 by Peter In de Betou.
Mieszko Talarczyk - guitar, bass and lead vocals
Anders Jakobson - drums
Urban Skytt - guitar
Jon Lindqvist – bass
Rogga Johansson - low vocals
Petter Freed - lead guitars
Comments by Anders Jakobson:About the recording...
"Shift" was recorded without any fans knowing about it. With "Helvete" we really invited the fans into the studio with our detailed studio diary. This time we didn't even write on nasum.com that we had begun working on a new album and actually were recording it.
It wasn't meant to be a total secret, it was just a matter of waiting for the Breitling Replica right moment. We had decided to try a new record label after our contract with Relapse expired. We weren't disappointed with their work, we just felt that trying an European label could be better for the band. So we were waiting for the deals between all parts to be settled before announcing the label change and the new album. That didn't happen before the album was totally finished.
The recording was done a little faster than last time, which originated in that we initially planed to do a MCD for Burning Heart. As Mieszko and I was walking away from the first meeting with Burning Heart I suggested that we should do a full length instead of wasting songs on a MCD that probably would have been priced as a CD in the stores anyway.
So we did in less time. It was the first time we recorded an album during the summer so it was quite a challenge being in the hot studio every day.
About the title...
My first suggestion for the fourth album's title was "Transition" which I felt covered all thoughts about change that we had in mind. Mieszko wasn't totally into it, but felt that the concept was right and suggested "Shift". We worked around the theme for a while discussing variations of "Shift" and I was trying to come up with a title including a semicolon like Carcass's "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious", without luck. We then decided that "Shift" would have to do.
We had a meeting with Jon and Urban to discuss the cover and title and told them about our ideas. Jon then suggested a title along the lines of Moby's titles, simply to call the album "Four". Fourth album, four members. That was a good idea and we decided on calling it "IV" so that people could pronounce the title in their own language.
I started working with our new art guy and he did his first suggestions for the cover. I then discovered that "IV" wasn't a title that we all had agreed on. So in the end we went back to "Shift".
About the cover...
The schedule for "Shift" was quite hectic. We had already started planning the European tour and the schedule demanded that Burning Heart had to go into production right after the album was mixed and mastered to have the usual 3 months of preparation for the release. That meant we had to work with the cover as we were recording the album. We first wanted to work with Robert Ahlborg again. I explained the conditions for the art - we had to have it right away to keep the schedule alive and after some consideration he said that he couldn't take the gig mainly because he was busy with something else.
I then wrote to Tim from Switchblade/Trust No One Recordings and Robert "Samsa" Samsonowitz, a pal from the past. Both showed interest but we decided on Samsa as Tim was about to become a father and couldn't guarantee that he would be able to do it in time. When Samsa got the job he returned my email at once with a suggestion that easily could have been used as a cover, but not for "Shift". But it did show his skills for the whole band who wasn't involved in his work as I was.
As I wrote earlier the title as this time was "Four"/"IV" and I asked Samsa to have some sort of symbols on the cover and he worked with a version of the four elements. We had decided on a black cover with gold print to mimic the feeling of book covers, and then have the lyrics on very thin almost Bible like paper. Through the processes of working with the artwork the original idea changed due to the fact that it was impossible for us to find the right paper. We wanted to have the same kind of paper that Neurosis had on "Times of Grace" but it was impossible to find in Europe. Relapse tried to get something similar on their edition resulting in a quite crappy printing where the gray pattern on the cover disappeared into the black.
Anyway, Robert kept coming in with suggestions and always did the changes that we wanted. He always presented his suggestions in the right element, meaning that he sent us pictures of the cover in a jewel case. Brilliant idea!
About the vinyl edition...
The LP was released by No Tolerance Records, a smaller Swedish label partly run by Björn of Disfear. They released the Skitsystem/Nasum split. Samsa reworked his artwork slightly and everything was printed on some nice stock that was very much in the vein of what we initially wanted with the CD version. The gate fold sleeve was of the good sort and the release felt firm and serious. A really nice piece of vinyl.
About the Japanese edition...
As always you have to have something extra on the Japanese edition, and this time we intentionally wrote some songs to be the bonus songs. They were all short and fast ones. One actually ended up on the "real" album - "Ett inflammerat sår" was one of the "Japanese songs". The two that ultimately became the bonus songs are really quick and aggressive, a real hit in the face.
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2. The Engine of Death
3. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Scar
4. No Paradise for the Damned
6. Fear is Your Weapon
7. The Deepest Hole
8. High on Hate
10. Circle of Defeat
11. Like Cattle
13. The Smallest Man
16. The Clash
18. Closer to the End
20. Fight Terror With Terror
21. Ett Inflammerat Sår
22. Deleted Scenes
24. Darkness Falls
Bonus songs on the Japanese edition: