Solstorm — II
(Apollon Records AP054, 2019, CD / LP / DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-04-19
The doom-stoner-sludge metal band Solstorm from Bergen, Norway is back with their second album eight years after their 2011 debut self-titled album. Today the band line up is Bjørn Ognøy (noise and guitars), Jaran Hereid (vocals and bass), Helge Taksdal (guitars), Camilo Beltran (guitars), and Andreas Johansen (drums). Solstorm recorded the basic tracks live over a few days and then recorded the rest in their Bergen studio. They took their time building layer upon layer of sound and instruments. Guest musicians added trumpet, saxophone, violin, cello, percussion, and children’s voices, though you would be hard pressed to identify these instruments and sounds in the massive soundscape of each of the five tracks. Mixed in with the heavy doom-laden bass, riffs, and instrumentals are frail melodies that evolve over the life of each track. My favorite track out of the 55 minutes of doom, is “Eklips.” Despite the sonic barrage and Cookie-Monster-on-steroids vocals, I am reminded of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The massive closing track “Vienna” is particularly aggressive and devolves into a sinister two-chord tick tock plodding beat that slowly fades. II is another doom and despair release for these global dark days, knowing full well that brighter days are ahead.
Related artist(s): Solstorm
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more