The Zealot Gene, which arrives on Jan. 28, marks the band’s first studio album in nearly two decades. The project has been in the works since 2017 and was initially slated for a 2020 release, but the coronavirus pandemic halted the band’s plans.
“Amidst the concerns and warnings of the scientific community and a few more enlightened politicians, we all retreated in disbelief to our homes to wait out the storm,” bandleader Ian Anderson said in a statement.
Anderson added that The Zealot Gene pulls from a variety of biblical themes and ideas. “While I have a spot of genuine fondness for the pomp and fairytale storytelling of the Holy Book, I still feel the need to question and draw sometimes unholy parallels from the text,” he said. “The good, the bad and the downright ugly rear their heads throughout, but are punctuated with elements of love, respect and tenderness.”
The frontman, who has never shied away from sociopolitical commentary, continued: “The title track offers many allusions to the radical, politically charged world of populism in leadership. As a song lyric, it sums up, for me, the divisive nature of societal relationships and the extreme views which fuel the fires of hate and prejudice, more so today, perhaps, than at any time in history.”
The Zealot Gene will be available in both CD and vinyl format. It will also include liner notes, an interview with Anderson and an exclusive art book.
Jethro Tull’s most recent release is 2003’s The Jethro Tull Christmas Album. Anderson has also released several solo LPs in recent years, including 2012’s Thick as a Brick 2, 2014’s Homo Erraticus and 2017’s Jethro Tull — The String Quartets, featuring John O’Hara and the Carducci String Quartet.
Jethro Tull Albums Ranked
From their bluesy beginning to their proggy peak, we take a look at all of the band’s studio albums.