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Canvas Solaris – Irradiance: Review

The release date for Canvas Soalris’ upcoming album, Irradiance, is June 22. It is the fifth release from the American instrumentalists. Canvas Solaris has commonly been met with high praise from their first four albums; Irradiance will only add to this.

The Music (rating: A-)

  1. Adaptive Optics
  2. Conveyance of Flux
  3. The Horizon Feasts on the Stars
  4. Glacier
  5. Accelerated Testing Phase
  6. Threads of Dead Space
  7. Soliton (Emergence From Dispersion)
  8. Vapor Chasm
  9. Null Proximity

All the songs in the album sound very unusual and unorthodox (progressive, if you will). Though there is a massive diversity regarding sound throughout the songs, one can consistently expect to be either impressed or “weirded out”. There are times when metal is at its heaviest, but also acoustic ballads. Simple sections are mixed in with complex ones. On paper, this album has everything. However, it is only for the open-minded; most of the music is outside the grasp of the general population.

Most bands are unable to achieve the level of instrumental perfection displayed on this album. Every member does their part in making Irradiance a highly technical album. There are no vocals, but there is no room for them in Canvas Solaris’ style of music. The guitarists give great riffs, solos, acoustic rhythms, and melodies; basically everything done amazingly. Also, the bassist, gives outstanding grooves as well as strong support. Regarding the drummer, there is a large collection of intricate, intriguing rhythms. The keyboard delivers fascinating sounds both in the foreground and background. Unlike most keyboardists, this one makes a strong presence and refuses to be shunned behind the other instruments. Every band member gives a very impressive performance on this album.

In this album, the band is clearly trying to achieve an extremely high level of musicianship, and they have no doubt done so. There are non-standard key signatures mixed in with rare time signatures. It is highly dynamic in both aspects. Regarding the melodies, everything from major to minor to atonal to exotic key signatures are used. The time signatures range from the simple to the very complex, which ever better suits the music in the moment. Dynamics are often employed, and transitions are great in diversity. Songs never follow the standard structure, but use recurring themes to tie things together, like most progressive music, and does so very nicely. In Irradiance, the band has shown themselves to have among the most brilliant musical minds in the scene.

The band is no less commendable for their uniqueness and creativity than they are for their ingenuity. Their sound is immediately recognizable, but also unmistakably stems from many progressive bands (such as Dream Theater). Even for progressive fans, such as myself, it is impossible to deny Canvas Solaris’ individuality.

Irradiance is another amazing release from Sensory. It is uncompromising and rich in its instrumentals and musicality. Also, it is truly unique, even in the progressive metal scene. Due to its lack of vocals, its overwhelming complexity, and its bizarre sound, Irradiance is an album that will never properly reach the public. However, Canvas Solaris has delivered a tasty treat for the tolerant, open-minded individuals.

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