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Solefald > Pills Against the Ageless Ills > Reviews > doomknocker
Solefald - Pills Against the Ageless Ills

Less talk, more walk - 75%

doomknocker, June 17th, 2009


My first excursion into the 'FALD world, through vicarious curiousity, came from 1999's uber-ambitious "Neonism", an album that threw me for an absolute loop. One needs to have a keen, open mind to enjoy an avant-gardean masterwork that can turn black metal into a gelatinous, multi-faceted orb of musicality (save for the poor soul who felt the need to give them a death threat). And obviously it would be an album which would possess big shoes to fill, so once the follow-up burst onto the scene this listener would hope it would be just as grand.

It wasn't...but was still good for what it was.

For this album Cornelius and Lazare decided to take a more straight-forward approach to the music, and as a result much of the bombastic weirdness was forsaken. Nevertheless the album is atwitter with many different styles that change almost riff-by-riff, from blast-beat-heavy black metal, to atmospheric BLACK SABBATH-like doom, to funky jazz breaks, to anything else in between. Grinding guitar riffs couple with soothing organ and synth lines, cascading beneath the floating dual vocal approach the two performers are adept at perfecting with each and every album (Cornelius' growls working well with Lazare's crooning) that spit out the now-standard thought-provoking poetry of social criticism Cornelius seems to teem with. Said lyrics are based off a strange, sordid story that is a bit confusing to get into, as the dialogue (if you can call it that) is very cryptic in approach, depending on the song; the chaotic "Hyperhuman" and the eerily calm "Pornographer Cain" make more sense lyrically than stranger tracks like "The USA Don't Exist", and the closer "Hierarch". Even still, the general performance is still spot-on, epic, and heavy...somethings all three at once.

So all in all this is more of the red-headed stepchild of SOLEFALD's usual reportoire of musical madness. Streamlining isn't always a bad thing, however, and this should end up getting more than a few spins.