Album: "World Metal - Kosmopolis Sud"
Style: Avantgarde metal
Release date: 2015-02-02
1. World Music with Black Edges
2. The Germanic Entity
3. Bububu Bad Beuys
4. Future Universal Histories
5. Le Soleil
6. 2011, or a Knight of the Fail
7. String the Bow of Sorrow
8. Oslo Melancholy
I hadn't originally planned on reviewing the latest output from Norway's eclectic duo Solefald. Not because I didn't like it, no because it was released almost four months ago and most people into this music have already either heard it or read about it elsewhere. But this is a very special album and I felt that I had to say something about it. So here I am, ranting on about the masterpiece that is "World Metal - Kosmopolis Sud".
Yeah, I guess it's a dead giveaway concerning what rating this album will get, but I just can't hide my feelings for this album. That's right - feelings. I honestly can't remember the last time I felt this way about music, first time I heard "Sear Me MCMXCIII" by My Dying Bride when I was 16 and the first time I heard "Svältvinter" by Vintersorg when I was 19 comes to mind though, as they also gave me that certain something. I'll admit I really enjoyed Solefald's last offering "Norrøn Livskunst" (2010) and it gave me a couple of eargasms back in the days. So I naturally had high hopes for this album, but I wasn't prepared to be this overwhelmed.
It all starts with what might be this year's best song - "World Music with Black Edges" - seriously, I can't think of any other band that manages to fit eurodisco into a metal song, without it seeming out of place. But Cornelius Jakhelln and Lars Are Nedland does just said thing. Tribal rhythms and weird soundscapes also enter this musical pallet and never has a song been so aptly titled. Lyric-wise it goes all over the place, but I just can't help but smiling at the incredible words penned by Jakhelln:
'In 2000 we wrote « Open the Black Metal Order » :
« There are no Blacks in Black Metal, the name must be an error
How did this temple of sound roar into being?
Who made it the tornado it is?
The bad kids are getting old but they what played is not
Open the Black Metal Order. This is pain immortalized
The future is said to be many things but I predict it to be Transatlantic
Who is able to carry on through? Who is able to stay courageous? »'
Musically, the album continues with melodies that glues to your brain, combined with sheer madness while the two vocalists sing, growl, scream and snarl all over the place. Naturally, it takes a couple of listens to even begin to comprehend what the hell is going on. Once you do, I hope this music sounds as sweet to your ears as it does to mine. Hell, even the obvious weird-for-the-sake-of-being-weird-song "Bububu Bad Beuys" is amazing! Unlike "Tittentattenteksti" on it's predecessor, this one makes me smile and nod my head with the music. Think "black metal meets african drums" and you might have a clue as to what's going on.
While "Le Soleil" might be the album's weakest point, it isn't bad at all, it just lacks a certain feeling that the all the other songs do. And oh my, how the last trinity of songs on "World Metal" touched me deeply; When I first listened to "2011, or a Knight of the Fail", I immediately enjoyed it. After I had heard it a couple of more times, it felt like I knew it by heart, but after I read the lyrics the first time, the hair on my arms stood straight up and I felt shivers all through my body. One simply has to read the lyrics whilst listening to this song in order to fully appreciate it. It continues with the insanely emotional "String the Bow of Sorrow" where I my eyes started to tear up when I first heard it together with the lyrics. I think you get my point by now, so I really don't have anything wise to say about "Oslo Melancholy".
It has been quite difficult to write about this album I must say. Mainly because it's just so damn difficult to describe in words, one really has to listen to it. Now. I can't give "World Metal - Kosmopolis Sud" 10 out of 10 though. Why? Simply because the album isn't perfect, but very close though.
'I will leave you here, where you sat with your parents
On the simple wooden staircase
Where bumblebees hum and blackbirds sing
As the evening breeze sways the firs in the sunset