FREDRIK THORDENDAL'S SPECIAL DEFECTS — Sol Niger Within (review)

FREDRIK THORDENDAL'S SPECIAL DEFECTS — Sol Niger Within album cover Album · 1997 · Avant-garde Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
topofsm
If you think that Meshuggah is too angular and dissonant for you, if you think avant-garde metal like Mr. Bungle is too 'out there', if you think metal jazz fusion doesn't go anywhere beyond Exvious or Planet X, you are in a wild ride. While it incorporates more melody than the first, contains fewer musical elements from the second, and doesn't seem as blatantly virtuoistic as the third, Sol Niger Within is easily one of the most inaccessible albums you will ever encounter, metal or otherwise.

While having guitarist Fredrik Thordendal brings in obvious elements of Meshuggah's bizarre dissonant polymetric riffage, the music goes farther than that. There is a noticeable jazz influence, and while there is more melody, it also allows for more dissonance, so as to create a harsh atmosphere that can be compared to if you gave Ornette Coleman distorted guitars. What's more? There are also more instruments, such as a saxophone, organ, and some instruments listed in the liner notes as a Gallskrik and a Yidaki. When you mix these all together, you get quite an uneasy-feeling album, one that you shouldn't go into expecting to hear some catchy riffs or anthemic pounding songs.

Since all the tracks blend together into one forty minute track, it's hard to pick standouts. Some noticeable ones are the pair of songs "Z1 - Reticuli" and "Z2 - Reticuli" which are possibly the closest medium between jazz and metal possible, featuring the guitar and the saxophone respectively. The outro track "Tagathata" also seems somewhat separate from the rest of the opus, wrapping up the album properly. As for anything else, it's all one giant track of insanity, and should please any avant-garde fan. The only complaint are two tracks in the middle, "Cosmic Vagina Dentata Organ" and "Magical Theatre .33" which are simply bizarre improvised ad lib performances featuring the organ, which among other things interrupt the flow of the album.

Nonetheless, I believe Sol Niger Within is worthy of the title of a flawed masterpiece. The musicianship is top notch, the composition is thoroughly interesting, and it is an innovative work that, while taking influence from several obvious sources, doesn't really sound like anything else. If I had to pick one album to define Avant-garde metal, this would be it, with all the jazz influences and the harsh atmosphere. If you add this to your collection you are not to be disappointed.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

Review Index

Member Zone

Username:
Password:
Stay signed in

Metal Subgenres

Artists Alpha-index

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Are You Experienced? Proto-Metal
JIMI HENDRIX
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Reflections Doom Metal
GODTHRYMM
Buy this album from MMA partners
Ordinary Man Heavy Metal
OZZY OSBOURNE
Buy this album from MMA partners
No Good To Anyone Atmospheric Sludge Metal
TODAY IS THE DAY
Buy this album from MMA partners
Agony In The Garden II Doom Metal
MELANCHOLIA (WA)
Buy this album from MMA partners
Sisyphus Gothic Metal
THE MEDEA PROJECT
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online