Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects - Sol Niger Within CD (album) cover


Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects


Experimental/Post Metal

4.14 | 136 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
5 stars Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects - Sol Niger Within 5 stars

This is my second favorite 'jazz-metal' album of all time. Although this isn't a normal mix between the two, we more avant-garde mixed in then anything else.

This is a solo album by Fredrik Thordendal, the lead guitarist and one of the main composers for the band Meshuggah. Since the debut album, it was obvious that Fredrik had a keen interest in the works of Allan Holdsworth, one of the greatest jazz guitarists of all time and the name you will find listed on just about any major guitarists influences.

This album sounds much like Meshuggah from the 'Destroy Erase Improve' era, but there is so much more to it then that. The trademark angular, dissonant and machine-like grooves with his signature eight-string guitar are still there and just as good as ever. The amount of jazz leads and solo's that were so great on Meshuggah's albums has increase by an exponential amount and is very complementary to the music on this album. There are also many things that Meshuggah would never use on here like a church organ, saxophone and keyboards. The vocals are also much different, almost to a point of laughable because Tomas Haake, the drummer of Meshuggah, does them. They sound a bit like Smeagal, in his most violent of moments. What surprised me the most is that Tomas Haake was not the drummer. I remember watching the medley of youtube which led to my purchase of the album and somebody said the drummer was Morgan Agren.some session drummer. Well, similar to wikipedia, youtube gives you half correct information. I found that he played on the album too and then I remember, this guy played with Frank Zappa. Also very recently I found out he is the drummer from Kaipa, which is beyond me. All I know of the band is that they are symphonic and play in the style of Yes and Genesis, but mostly, that this band included Roine Stolt. His drum performance is just insane; some of the best jazz-drumming there is around. This is forcing me to check out a Kaipa album.

There are no pauses in the album. It is pretty much a continuous 50-minute piece that is only separated by many tracks. The music is extremely harsh and technical, but it contains some of the finest jazz solos and drum work around, definitely the driving force of this project. The keyboards and saxophone are immediately at the forefront when they are being used. The saxophone player is EXTREMELY talented, but I do not know much else about him besides his name, Jonas Knutsson.

This album is really perfect in my opinion, I thoroughly enjoy it from beginning to end every time. The listener will just got treated to the full ends of each spectrum and blasted around from one end to the other. If you are a Meshuggah fan, it is essential to pick up, I like this more then anything Meshuggah has done up to this point in time. Jazz fans will be impressed by the abundance of Holdsworth like solo's as well as the excellent saxophone performance. Then fans of metal will get their correct dosage filled in. For those that are the open-minded.then this album is one of the best you will find. All the musicians on the album gave a top-notch performance at their respective instrument. This album is absolutely essential. 5 stars, no less.

ProgBagel | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.