Solstice Coil - Commute (CD Review)

01.New Eyes
02.Forget You Ever Saw Us
03.Shuffle The Cards
04.Her Silent Silhouette
06.The Bargain
07.Acid Bath
09.An Oldie (But Your Kids are Gonna Love it)

Shir Deutch (Vocals/Guitar)
Opher Vishnia (Guitar/Vocals)
Shai Yallin (Keyboards/Vocals)
Mihael Galperin (Bass)
Yakir Fitousi (Drums)

Founded in late 2001, Solstice Coil are one of the most veteran bands currently operating in Israel’s progressive rock and metal scene. Dedicated to the notion of combining intellectually challenging music with reflective lyrics and high production values, the band draws its influence from artists such as Radiohead and Dream Theater.

The band's debut album, 'A Prescription for Paper Cuts' (2005), was well received by the global progressive rock community.
In 2011 they released their sophomore album, 'Natural Causes', under US-based label Melodic Revolution Records. Natural Causes fared well with the critics, receiving dozens of favorable reviews that cited it as a formidable follow-up to the band's debut album.

In 2012 the band embarked on its first tour of India, playing various festivals including the NH7 alongside Megadeth.
After returning from India, the band commenced work on developing songs for its third album, where they take a stab at the epic while mixing classic progressive rock influences with heavy metal tendencies and even some elements of electronic music. Titled 'Commute'it is the first studio album to feature bassist Mihael Galperin and drummer Yakir Fitousi.

So 'New Eyes' is an intersting mix of styles, on the one hand it has that Industrial/Goth sound of Static X, but then it's Neo-Prog section id more aking to Marillion or Muse, very rhythmic and jazzy at times and a guitar sound that i could imagine Carlos Santana producing.

More Industrial meets electro this time for the keyboard driven 'Forget You Ever Saw Us', again an intresting mix of influences and styles are utilised to create their overall modern neo-prog sound.

At times 'Shuffle The Cards displays prog/folk elements, overall though it does stick with 80's prog style, however the high pitched keyboard sound does not reach my ears in a good way, no such problems with 'Her Silent Silhouette' which is by far the best track so far, its classic modern prog, strong vocals backed with clever rhythms and timing chnages and a great keyboard solo.

'Anywhere' is a nice spanish acoustic guitar instrumental, but it doesn't seem to go "Anywhere" and maybe could have done with a second take as there are a few too many squeaks on the strings, it does however lead into another great song 'The Bargain' with its eastern influence this harkens back to late 70's prog, reminiscent of Pavlov's Dog, especially with the guitar and piano sound and the vocal delivery.

Were it not for the techno drum beats at the start you could be forgiven for thinking that this may turn into 'Enter Sandman' such is the style of the guitar riff, overall this song has a darker edge and while the vocal and composition could be 80's 'Yes' there is a definate heavy metal feel to this.

After the last song, this one 'Meltdown' just brings the whole thing down, a very slow moving downbeat song, guess this is where their Radiohead influence comes in.

Okay so 'An Oldie' just sounds like the middle section of an old Hawkwind song circa 1975, solid drum beat and keyboards, nice, but what was the point of it?

Finally 'Nowhere', this one pulls back any doubts of their ability, has it all great vocals, heavy bits, slow bits, nice keyboards, various guitar sounds, ends the album on a high!

Rating 8/10
For Fans of: King Crimson, Valerian Swing, Moanaa, Marillion, Yes


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