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Canvas Solaris


Penumbra Diffuse

Year: 2006
Format: CD
Label: Sensory
Genre: [Progressive/Technical Metal]
Overall Rating: 8.0
Music: 8.0
Production: 8.0

The second canvas Solaris album "Penumbra Diffuse" provides quite a pleasant surprise - being a technical metal band, the material is interestingly warm, varied and textured. Usually tech-metal is guilty for being cold and lacking feeling, but fortunately this isn't so much the case with Canvas Solaris. This group was already formed in 1999, and first off they played rather weird death metal. However, in 2001 they started to play instrumental music and their bassist Jimmy McCall was replaced by Ben Simpkins.

Already from the first notes of this album it becomes apparent there's no question about the technical skills of this trio. The music is captivating and from time to time it features oriental rhythms, mind-boggling passages, without forgetting simplistic yet somehow comforting melodies that appear on the background. In addition, there are quite many surprising tempo- and rhythm changes along with groovy polyrhythms and effortlessly flowing hooks. Nonetheless, there are also weaker sections that break the flow of the songs at times - as a whole, I'd say this is a good tech-metal album but it could have been realized even better.

The production on this album has been handled rather well - no complaints here. In my view, the song material on this record works both as background music and something to which one may submerge oneself in. As I mentioned before the musicianship on "Penumbra Diffuse" is amazing, and proves that Canvas Solaris can come up with a great album in the future (something that could well gain the status of a "classic" among tech-metal enthusiasts). It's intriguing how this group manages to amaze the listener again and again on this record. All in all, I'm pretty sure that listeners of technical metal (e.g. Gordian Knot, Spiral Architect, King Crimson, Psychotic Waltz, Degree Absolute, Zero Hour, Don Caballero among many others) will find the material of Canvas Solaris to their liking.

Visit Artist's MySpace

- MAGE (July 30th, 2006)


Sapp, Nathan: Lead & Rhythm Guitars, 6- and 12-string Acoustic Guitar, MicroMoog
Synthesizer, Guitar Synthesizer, Korg Poly-61 Synthesizer, Yamaha CS-60 Synthesizer
Simpkins, Ben: Rhythm Guitar, Bass, 12-string Acoustic Guitar, Lead Guitar, Mandolin,
Roland RS-50, Korg Poly-61 Synthesizer
Ginn, Hunter: Drums, Conga, Djembe, Doumbek, Shaker, Tabla, Timpani, Moroccan Clay
Drums, Gong, Guiro, Castanets, Tambourine, Glockenspiel

Wagner, Jeff: Yamaha CS-60 Synthesizer on Luminescence
Producer: King, Jamie & Canvas Solaris
Mixing by: The Basement Studios
Mastering by: Katz, Bob
Canvas Solaris - Penumbra Diffuse  CD  Cover Image
01. Panoramic Long-range Vertigo
02. Horizontal Radiant
03. Accidents in Mutual Silence
04. Vaihayasa
05. To Fracture
06. Psychotropic Resonance
07. Luminescence

Length: 48:42
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