Solefald - Neonism review
|Release date:||September 1999|
01. Fluorescent (The Total Orchestra)
02. Speed Increased To Scaffold
03. CK II Chanel No. 6
04. Proprietors Of Red
05. A Motion Picture
07. Backpaka Baba
08. Third Person Plural
09. 04.34 PM
10. The New Timelessness
11. Cosmophony [2007 re-release bonus]
This one is pure genius...or pure madness!
An outstanding works of art, a new guideline for avantgarde, a milestone of creativity...or just the work of two mad musicians!
Where "The Linear Scaffold" (by far their best work to date, in my humble opinion) gave to the listener the feeling of a well structured avantgarde black-gothic journey, Neonism goes beyond. The schemes are crushed into little meaningless pieces and the listener may easily lose the meaning of the whole opus.
Let's go with some order. The record starts with 2 of the heaviest tracks that sound like the "expected" evolution of what we heard on The Linear Scaffold. These two tracks disappointed me a bit, for the lack of originality: they gave me the feeling of a band trying to repeat their previous great work. Now, 8 years after I bought the CD, I often skip these two. They are both good, though, but just too similar to what we heard on the previous release. It's from the 3rd track, CK II Chanel N6, that the real journey starts; this song has some sort of catchy pop theme mixed with heavy metal and noisy guitar, harsh black metal-like singing together with clean vocals, sung or declaimed. Indeed it's quite hard to describe the mood of this song to someone who never listened to Solefald's first works. But it's only the beginning of the trip (maybe this is really the best word to describe it). From now on each song has its own history, its own sound and meaning in the record.
I'm not here to bore you with a track-by-track like review but I just have to take the focus on the great originality of each song: there are no two songs that sound similar but they all fit well in the same CD as different parts of the same journey. "Backpacka Baba," with its reggae-like inserts and up-tempos, "Third Person Plural" with its very heavy riffing and its weird stops and breaks, together with the very melodic and melancholic "04.34 Pm" (piano, keyboards and voice) are probably my own highlights; I guess each listener could find his own favorites, due to the variety of sounds and solutions of each song.
This is a record to explore and discover listening after listening; a record that requires an open mind, some taste for avantgarde (yes, it's still avantgarde after 8 years....and The Linear Scaffold, too), and some time to spend on it, because at the first listening you could find this just odd and pointless. But definitely it's not!
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