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on 5 December 2008
Sensory Records are a record company that have an incredible ear for signing unusual sounding progressive metal bands that bring something unique and diverse to the metal table, and this is exactly where Canvas Solaris fits into the greater scheme of things. Canvas Solaris' roots began in 2000 and so far have produced four full-length albums since 2004, with `The Atomized Dream' being their latest opus in 2008. Until now, I have had no exposure to their rather outlandish style of music, but they have been a source of intrigue to me after reading a few web interviews of the band.

After finally tracking a copy of `The Atomised Dream' for myself, Canvas Solaris have captured my imagination totally by broadened my musical horizon as to what band's in this ilk are capable of. They are an unusual band, focussing solely on playing atmospheric instrumental music, which is an amalgam of progressive metal/jazz/avant-garde metal and technical metal. Each track on this album takes on its own unique personality as the music progresses, twists and turns by meandering along seamlessly to an assortment of different moods and tempo changes.

`The Atomized Dream' almost places the listener into a form of hypnosis with the soothing and melodic tones, which have been beautifully interwoven into a rich tapestry of instrumentation. All the songs have plenty of atmosphere, with many interesting things going on from fast to slow runs or slowing right down and adding some subtle intricate pieces. The five musicians, Nathan Sapp (guitar), Chris Rushing (guitar), Hunter Ginn (drums), Gael Pirlot (bass) and Donnie Smith (synthesizers) know how to make evocative music and together the band is extremely tight and well rehearsed.

Unlike other instrumental albums, there is no element of replication here, as the band has too many fresh ideas to let this happen. What is appealing is how they mix all the instruments into complex melodies that compliment the rhythmic structure of each track. Tracks like `The Binaural Beat' and `Chromatic Dusk' have a more mellow and peaceful feel to the proceedings, while other tracks like `Reflections carried to Mirror' or `Solar Droid' have more dominant and sharper tones. With these differences, it adds to the musical diversity by making `The Atomized Dream' such an all-embracing release without sounding too boring or mundane.

This is a fantastic album, with plenty of fresh ideas as previously mentioned, thought provoking songs and memorable instrumentation all with an alluring charm about it. In the future, I cannot imagine this band adding a vocalist as this will just ruin what they have set out to achieve. Every single track on this album is superb and the production is clear, with the cover artwork having an ethereal appeal to it like the music. In all probability, this album will appeal to people who take pleasure in the aural soundscapes of progressive metal and are open minded to different styles of music.

There are subtle traces of other bands like Spiral Architect, Twisted into Form, Pink Floyd, Pelican, Green Carnation, King Crimson, Cynic and Behold the Arctopus. After listening to this album in its entirety on several occasions, I found that it was no longer a listening experience, but rather a delightful journey as I relished in every note played by these five immensely talented individuals.
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on 25 August 2008
Certainly not easy listening, rather what Jonas Hellborg calls "Art Metal". Odd meters, dazzling guitarbreaks, new age like synths, heavy metal riffs, avantgarde chords, it's all here.

Immensely varied, often going from the wild and frenzied to the quiet and introspective, seemingly without any connecting passages. And definitely there seems to be more going on musically in one minute of Canvas Solaris' compositions than in whole CDs from more mainstream acts.

Should appeal to fans of Frank Zappa/Steve Vai, Robert Fripp/King Crimson, Shawn Lane, Hellborg and lovers of experimental and avantgardish music.

Only problem: you have to listen attentively, otherwise it just sounds like noise, lol.
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