Exposé Online banner

Solstice — Prophecy
(Esoteric Recordings EANTCD 1024, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-01-13

Prophecy Cover artSolstice is one of those bands that has their own sound, songs that are immediately recognizable regardless of what album they came from over a thirty year period. And nobody can accuse them of glutting the market with product, as they’ve only released about half a dozen records during that time. Even though the lineup has changed over the years, de facto bandleader, guitarist and principal composer Andy Glass — and now the only original member, has managed to keep their sound intact through all the personnel changes. After four or five different female vocalists came and went (there was a nine year period between their first two albums), Emma Brown has fronted the band since the mid-90s; her singing is a major part of the band’s trademark character, along with violinist Jenny Newman, who complements Glass’ guitar in their many lengthy instrumental duels. While I often hear Solstice compared to Renaissance, I just don’t hear anywhere near the same level of disciplined classical influences mixed in with their compositions and arrangements; instead, the Solstice style tends to be more folky at its core, an updated take on the laid-back west coast hippie sound of late sixties San Francisco, mixed with a sort-of new age ethic, the prominent violin often reminding of It’s a Beautiful Day’s early work. The five lengthy pieces here that constitute the new album Prophecy are full of brilliant instrumental fire interspersed with mostly relaxed sections of vocals and multi-part harmonies — Glass and keyboardist Steven McDaniel also share vocal duties. Added as bonus tracks are Steven Wilson remixes of the three best tracks from the band’s first album Silent Dance, “Find Yourself,” “Earthsong,” and “Return of Spring,” which sound even better than the previous Festival Music reissue from 2007 (and we won’t even talk about the early 1991 reissues, which were mastered from vinyl copies). Longtime fans of the band will find plenty here to appreciate, and the uninitiated will find Prophecy to be a good point of embarkation, with a sample of the band’s first album in tow as well.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Solstice

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - A Bead to a Small Mouth – Each track on this compilation integrates spoken text and sound manipulation, with results both mysterious and captivating. On "A New Dress" Nurse with Wound layers shifting, hypnotic metallic tones...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues