Solaris - Episode I
Aggrotech, Harsh EBM The Australian scene is picking up a lot of momentum currently - the talent pool is varied and deep. One act that didn't really take off (in part due to the fact that they haven't been around long) is Brisbane's Aggrotech project "Solaris".

This 8-track debut was released in the summer of 2012, with the artist taking time to get a proper CD pressed and sent over to me - a move that more bands seriously need to make. Anyway, I digress - Let's get down and dirty with Solaris.

"Episode I" opens with "Poison" - an unorthodox intro segues into a more tradtional Aggrotech arrangement - it's fast paced, has a lead synth that's catchy (but not immediately familiar), and distorted vocals. Like most 'Terror EBM' bands these days, there isn't anything original here, but it is a good track. If anything, it borrows from outside niches, preventing the track from being 100% Aggrotech.

"Revenge" has a great intro, and imprints itself as one of the tracks on the album to enjoy time and again. Unfortunately, the vocals are a lot lower in the mix than on the previous track - almost to the point of undoing all the hard work. Fortunately, it does what any track of this genre is meant to do - it guarantees movement on the dancefloor.

The slow percussion intro on "Off With Their Heads" adds a degree of seperation and confidence to the release, and it turns into an enjoyable, foreboding little number. The vocals start way too late into the song, but I get the impression that Solaris aren't trying to be cliched, and for the most part, this track is full of relatively new ideas.

"Grim Flesh" tinkers with the macabre a bit, despite layer upon layer of danceable hooks, the vocals, abusive and inhuman as they are are far, far too low in the mix - a theme that's recurrent throughout this release.

There's no cause for any accusations of being a one-trick pony with Solaris' recorded offerings. "Diabolique" is much slower and atmospheric, the vocals are higher in the mix and easier to understand, and I think i'm just about getting the idea here.

"Patient 666" is the first track to offer a sample (at least that I noticed), and starts off ominous and desolate - enough to allow two plus two to correctly equals four. The track is dark, the mood is solemn, and the feeling is barren.

"Sodomy Nation" and "Carnival of Souls" play out the album, and although we aren't offered anything fundamentally essential, Solaris act as a catalyst for those who still want to believe in the genre, but need that dose of variety that's too often denied to us. Covering Aggrotech and Harsh EBM's more frantic and hostile roots, the Trance-like leads are criss crossed with brooding, Lexincrypt-esque Dark Electro. This release offers a bit of everything to those who are infallibly in love with the traditional aesthetic of one of the cruellest sub-genres out there.

"Episode I" is almost exclusively done with an air of excellence and catchiness - just a few issues are really stopping me from elevating this to the echelons of "essential" - but it's probably worth a buy.
3
Brutal Resonance

Solaris - Episode I

6.5
"Alright"
N/A
Electroracle
Released off label 2012
The Australian scene is picking up a lot of momentum currently - the talent pool is varied and deep. One act that didn't really take off (in part due to the fact that they haven't been around long) is Brisbane's Aggrotech project "Solaris".

This 8-track debut was released in the summer of 2012, with the artist taking time to get a proper CD pressed and sent over to me - a move that more bands seriously need to make. Anyway, I digress - Let's get down and dirty with Solaris.

"Episode I" opens with "Poison" - an unorthodox intro segues into a more tradtional Aggrotech arrangement - it's fast paced, has a lead synth that's catchy (but not immediately familiar), and distorted vocals. Like most 'Terror EBM' bands these days, there isn't anything original here, but it is a good track. If anything, it borrows from outside niches, preventing the track from being 100% Aggrotech.

"Revenge" has a great intro, and imprints itself as one of the tracks on the album to enjoy time and again. Unfortunately, the vocals are a lot lower in the mix than on the previous track - almost to the point of undoing all the hard work. Fortunately, it does what any track of this genre is meant to do - it guarantees movement on the dancefloor.

The slow percussion intro on "Off With Their Heads" adds a degree of seperation and confidence to the release, and it turns into an enjoyable, foreboding little number. The vocals start way too late into the song, but I get the impression that Solaris aren't trying to be cliched, and for the most part, this track is full of relatively new ideas.

"Grim Flesh" tinkers with the macabre a bit, despite layer upon layer of danceable hooks, the vocals, abusive and inhuman as they are are far, far too low in the mix - a theme that's recurrent throughout this release.

There's no cause for any accusations of being a one-trick pony with Solaris' recorded offerings. "Diabolique" is much slower and atmospheric, the vocals are higher in the mix and easier to understand, and I think i'm just about getting the idea here.

"Patient 666" is the first track to offer a sample (at least that I noticed), and starts off ominous and desolate - enough to allow two plus two to correctly equals four. The track is dark, the mood is solemn, and the feeling is barren.

"Sodomy Nation" and "Carnival of Souls" play out the album, and although we aren't offered anything fundamentally essential, Solaris act as a catalyst for those who still want to believe in the genre, but need that dose of variety that's too often denied to us. Covering Aggrotech and Harsh EBM's more frantic and hostile roots, the Trance-like leads are criss crossed with brooding, Lexincrypt-esque Dark Electro. This release offers a bit of everything to those who are infallibly in love with the traditional aesthetic of one of the cruellest sub-genres out there.

"Episode I" is almost exclusively done with an air of excellence and catchiness - just a few issues are really stopping me from elevating this to the echelons of "essential" - but it's probably worth a buy.
Feb 20 2013

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Nick Quarm

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

Share this review

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
23
Shares

Buy this release

Bandcamp

Related articles

The Soft Moon - 'Deeper'

Review, Apr 25 2015

Destroid - 'Silent World'

Review, Mar 22 2010

V▲LH▲LL - 'WOODS'

Review, Jul 10 2014

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016