SOLEFALD
"In Harmonia Universali"

(Century Media)

01. Nutrisco Et Extinguo
02. Mont Blanc Providence Crow
03. Christiania (E. Munch Commemoration)
04. Epicetetus & Irreversibility
05. Dionysify This Night Of Spring
06. Red Music Diabolos (Instrumental)
07. Buy My Sperm
08. Fraternité De La Grande Lumière
09. The Liberation Of Destiny
10. Sonnenuntergang Im Weltraum

RATING: 7.5/10

SOLEFALD are one of those bands that can make a reviewers life testy and fairly time-consuming. For, if you wanted to get really anal about it, you could get through reams of paper trying to catalogue their every musical twist and turn per album. DARKTHRONE this band certainly are not.

If you've heard their previous three works, you'll already be well prepared for the high-art journey which vocalist/guitarist/bassist Cornelius Jakhelln and vocalist/keysman/drummer Lazare Nedland (also of BORKNAGAR) are more than willing to take you on. Granted, they originate from black metal circles, and there are still discernible elements of that particular strain of misanthropic aggression (see the very metal "Epictetus & Irreversibility"), but in the main they are perhaps best summed up as an extreme interpretation of '70s prog overlords YES. You won't find any camp jumpsuits and flying ships here, mind you — just dizzying arrangements and slightly baffling odes to seventeenth century artists and modernist theories.

When you consider that the lyrics across this album are sung in a total of four — count 'em — different languages, you can understand why some listeners might be put off by this, the parping saxophones, the mathematical mood swings and the lustily delivered vocals in parts. Indeed, there are moments during the pomp and circumstance when it surely becomes too twee for even the most open-minded (the vocal simpering during the cautionary anti-cloning tale of "Buy My Sperm").

But in a mire of screaming pocket Satanists, SOLEFALD offer a tangible break from the norm. That their desire for experimentation has previously led to threats from conservative black metal zealots must surely be recommendation enough for you to bend your brain around this album.

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