SOLEFALD
Avant-garde Metal • Norway

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Solefald is a metal band from Norway that was formed by members Lars Are "Lazare" Nedland and Cornelius Jakhelln in August 1995, with Lars singing and playing keyboard/synthesizer/piano and drums, and Cornelius singing and playing guitar and bass. The meaning of the band's name is best explained in an interview from Century Media Records website. Lazare states "Solefald is an old norse word for sunset. We "stole" it from a painting by the Norwegian artist Theodor Kittelsen. His two paintings "Soleglad" and "Solefald" portrays the cycle of being, and we found it to be a very fitting idea for our band." Cornelius also states ""Solefald" means literally "the fall of the sun", or just "sunset"; the way we spell it is Danish, from the 19th century."

Biography

Beginnings

Their first official rehearsal together was in 1995 with the song "When The Moon Is On The Wave." They released their
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SOLEFALD Discography

SOLEFALD albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
The Linear Scaffold
Avant-garde Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Neonism
Avant-garde Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Pills Against the Ageless Ills
Avant-garde Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
In Harmonia Universali
Avant-garde Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Red for Fire: An Icelandic Odyssey, Part I
Avant-garde Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Black for Death: An Icelandic Odyssey, Part II
Avant-garde Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 2.25 | 5 ratings
Norrøn Livskunst
Avant-garde Metal 2010

SOLEFALD EPs & splits

SOLEFALD live albums

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SOLEFALD Reviews

SOLEFALD Neonism

Album · 1999 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Conor Fynes
'Neonism' - Solefald (6/10)

Norwegian metal duo Solefald's second album 'Neonism' was a massive change in style for this band. Although most typically associated with the black metal sound, Solefald can be heard really stretching out, taking influences from a wide array of styles and experimenting with how these widely contrasting sounds could be merged together as one. The album is still highly regarded by avant-garde metal afficionados, although hearing the music here, I do get the impression their ambitions outweighed their abilities.

'Neonism' has enough different angles, colours and tastes to it to make a rainbow feel bland. There are still some disparate black metal influences in the sound, but this songwriting is generally dense, melodic, and quirky, rather than atmospheric and dark. Solefald is clearly not interested in catering to the whims of a traditional black metal scene, there are vocal growls, howls, and rasps and even some riffs that are reminiscent of extreme metal sound, but you won't hear anything heavy here without it being followed up by something light-hearted. The clean vocals here are somewhat reminiscent of likeminded duo Vintersorg, although much more diverse. Here, a listener will hear both band members scream, croon, belt, and even pull off some spoken word sections. While listening to this, I am hearing a lot of very interesting ideas, but a large problem of 'Neonism's is that the ideas all seem to try to take the spotlight at once. The music feels dense, and almost as if there are two songs playing at once. This sense of disorientation in music can be done very well, but here it feels more haphazard than ingenious, and the thin production standard doe not help much either.

The lyrics here are another matter altogether. It's granted that one benefit of rampant experimentation is that one does not need to hold up to the same standards of more conventional bands, but it does not stop the fact that even after letting 'Neonism' sink in full, the lyrics feel awkward, jokey, and out-of-place. Solefald obviously attempts some sort of social critique here about consumerism and conformity, but it does not change the fact that rhymes here feel contrived and shallow, and- need I even mention- hearing the name Calvin Klein in a song, and then comparing him to a god sounds like the work of a prankster... or a genius, but I'm going to go with prankster.

'Neonism' does not seem to be an album that takes itself entirely seriously, and this has both positive and negative ramifications. It is an album that sees Solefald testing new ideas freely, but on the other hand, the convoluted nature of the album seems more like a fault than a mere matter of album depth.

SOLEFALD Norrøn Livskunst

Album · 2010 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Conor Fynes
'Norrøn Livskunst' - Solefald (4/10)

A collaboration between two guys who have had a fair amount of impact in the modern Norwegian black metal scene, Solefald has done some great things with their style in the past, throwing nuances into the typically harsh sound of black metal that aren't normally heard. 'Norrøn Livskunst' is Solefald's seventh album, and admittedly my first legitimate experience with the band. As a newcomer to the work of the band, I had only ever heard a few songs here and there, but even though I had little preconception of what Solefald's latest would sound like, I still find myself underwhelmed. Although the band shows remarkable promise with a folk-tinged progressive black metal sound, too often do their experiments go sour, sometimes even leading the music to be unpleasant to listen to.

'Song Til Stormen' opens the album off on a remarkable, albeit deceitful note. From the first wonderfully harmonized clean vocals and anthemic build-up of the music, I was instantly reminded of fellow progressive black metal duo Vintersorg. Although the band's approach here sounds almost too similar to Andreas Hedlund's Vintersorg, I still found myself greatly enjoying it; well composed and performed viking metal. As with most disappointing albums however, the first song here is the greatest, and also the only track I would recommend someone to listen to. From here on, the rest of 'Norrøn Livskunst' is a highly inconsistent roller coaster that often crashes and burns before lifting up again.

Many of the tracks here fall into the realm of fairly average, fairly enjoyable folkish viking metal, with some great vocal harmonies and occasional dives into female singing. It is ironic that my favourite aspect of this album- the vocals- are also part of what takes 'Norrøn Livskunst' from being a generally decent album into the territory of a record I would not be able to listen through again, despite the moments of grandeur. Chief among the errors Solefald made here was the invitation to bring the vocal stylings of fellow Norwegian rockers Animal Alpha into the mix. As can be heard at its most ear-cringing, 'Tittentattentetski' features some sort of vocal work (I dare not call it singing) in which a member of Animal Alpha sounds like a child screaming for ice cream moreso than anything music-related. Unfortunately, Solefald have their own bad moments here; the 'Blackabilly' song being worst of all; in which the band gears down to some of the worst lyrics I've heard in months; "One two three, blackabilly me. Four five six, burning kicks..."

Vocals aside, there is nothing to complain about, nor praise. Despite a few moments where Solefald cleverly incorporates some scarce jazzy saxphone phrases, things are kept fairly tame, and anyone who has heard some of the more modern melodic black metal from Norway should know what to expect; fast strumming of chords, tremolo picking and the occasional folkish moment. I cannot say 'Norrøn Livskunst' has impressed me by any measure regardless. The band is certainly capable, but due to a generally derivative sound and the fact that bands like Vintersorg have done this much better, Solefald does not sit well with me with this first impression.

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MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
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Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2 Power Metal
HELLOWEEN
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Rising Traditional heavy metal
RAINBOW
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Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
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Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
SLAYER
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Alba Symphonic Metal
SLEEPING ROMANCE
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Darkness of Eternity Power Metal
AMBERIAN DAWN
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Lionheart Power Metal
SERENITY
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See You on the Dark Side Hard Rock
HELL IN THE CLUB
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Phoenix Power Metal
NOCTURNAL RITES
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