(Indie Recordings, 2014)
I first heard of Solefald in 1997 after buying their first full-length “The Linear Scaffold”, which was a good Avantgarde Metal album according to the standards of that time. In between this new Ep and the first album I have rarely heard their material, so there is little to say for me about the progression of the band. I do know that the members of Solefald are active in many artistic workings in their lives, a highly creative duo from which we can expect probably everything, but let us not go in the details regarding that area.
This Ep (38mins in length) inspected individually, offers some very artistic Folk-inluenced Prog Rock with some Metal influences. Sometimes I’m reminded of some good old Krautrock, sometimes a modern pop-version of Norwegian Folk music. The instrumentations feature a lot of Classical orchestra sounds (or Folk sounds) such as flutes, violins, etc. The guitar and bass sound remind of more 70’ies Rock music, while the drums jam away very professionally some more “modern” beats perhaps, although an apparent Prog vibe is easily heard there as well. Sometimes the guitars and drums deliver very Death Metallic parts without using too much aggression or distortion. The are also Electronic influences in the music, in the forms of drum-computer-sounds and drony synths (perhaps guitars).
The vocals are mostly clear Folk-oriented “Viking-style” singing and speech, male and female, performed very well, but the originality of the vocals might be the stumbling block of the music for many listeners.
Aesthetically we get a very stylish and quite minimalistic feeling from the artwork and the soundcapes of the music, although there is a lot happening in the songs. The album however, despite being musically quite complex in material, is coloured in same grayish colours all the way, which adds to the personality of the material and the band.
I’m guessing people into Neofolk, Prog Rock and Progressive Metal bands like Solstafir, and nordic life and culture in general, will find this album extremely interesting. I would give it even more higher points if I would be more into Folk Music and sounds, but if you are, I urge you to check the music of Solefald out!
7.5/10 – Antti Mikonmäki