Exposé Online banner

Rendezvous Point — Solar Storm
(Karisma KAR097, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-05-01

Solar Storm Cover art

In many ways, Dream Theater can be seen as the prototypical progressive metal band. While they didn’t invent the genre single-handedly, they largely defined the template that persists to this day, with the heavy guitars of metal wedded to the grandiose keyboards of progressive rock and a tendency to indulge in flashy technical playing. Then in the latter half of the 90s, Porcupine Tree brought in a different factor: a dreamy space rock feeling harkening more to Pink Floyd than ELP or Yes. This type of progressive metal also spawned a large number of proponents. Norway’s Rendezvous Point can be seen as a sort of bridge between the two streams, which makes for a really awkward metaphor but makes total sense musically. Nicolay Tangen Svennæs’ keyboards are generally more atmospheric than flashy, and Petter Hallaråker’s guitars spend a lot of time with staccato sixteenth notes down in the low end of the instrument’s range. The lead vocals from Geirmund Hansen lean more towards the traditional metal side than Steven Wilson’s soft and dreamy delivery, but he doesn’t go for harsh tones. The rhythm section of Gunn-Hilde Erstad (bass) and Baard Kolstad (drums) is tight and precise, with lots of intricate interplay but wisely avoiding overuse of metal clichés. As a debut release, Solar Storm shows a band who have absorbed their influences and have started to move beyond them, producing a highly enjoyable set of tunes. With compositions and playing this strong, they have the capability to develop their own original sound – let’s hope they chose to do so.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Rendezvous Point

Latest news

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gerard - Meridian – One of Japan's longest lived symphonic bands, Gerard has produced a long string of albums beginning with their eponymous debut in 1984, featuring an expanded six-piece lineup, which by the second...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues