Canadian death metal has always had something a bit odd about it. In fact, Canadian metal overall has always had something a bit strange about it, but the death metal of Gorguts, Cryptopsy et al has stretched that vibe out to other worlds. Progressive death metallers Solinaris are the next to attempt to break out of the death metal sphere with their new record ‘Deranged’, out now on Cimmerian Shade Recordings.
‘Deranged’ is a concept album based around the last thoughts of a serial killer before he dies. The intro follows news reports about said killer, and when the title track kicks in, there is a definite atonal vibe to it. Brutal death metal lurks underneath a jarring tone and a murky production, which judders and thrashes wildly. The music is technical but not overly which allows you to appreciate the bends in the road, between Cynic-esque bass work, saxophone interjections and fractious, guttural rage.
I love it when I get an album like this, a record that I have to spin a number of times to fully appreciate the material within. Each song has so many nuances that your brain needs to really focus on to really ‘get’. The frenzied chugging of ‘Blind’ is a more straightforward highlight, but even that descends into a hellish rabbit hole of prigressive weirdness. It’s difficult to pull out any particular high points because the album works so well as one long fucked up tale. It’s brutal, jazzy, progressive and heavy as fuck, all in one 50 minute release.
Solinaris have released a record that could sit proudly amongst your Pestilence, Cynic or Gorguts albums as an example of how thrillingly different death metal can be when placed in the hands of a band capable of doing it. From pastoral acoustics to jarring death metal chaos, Solinaris are always fascinating.