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Canvas Solaris - Penumbra Diffuse CD (album) cover

PENUMBRA DIFFUSE

Canvas Solaris

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.01 | 62 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tapfret
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Making Metal and sounding smart

Sub-genre: Tech/Extreme Metal (technical, not so extreme, eclectic)
For Fans of: Gordian Knot, Spiral Architect, Dysrhythmia, and why not Mahavishnu Orchestra?
Vocal Style: None
Guitar Style: An array of electric styles from driving heavy metal, too bright acoustics, too warm jazz tunes. The occasional guitar synthesizer shows up as well.
Keyboard Style: Numerous mono synth sounds are used throughout the album. An extremely well trained ear would be required to distinguish between the use of keyboard synthesizers and guitar synthesizers.
Percussion Style: Modern rock/metal set dominates the album, there is no fear shown toward percussive instruments that would seem unorthodox in this context.
Bass Style: Standard rock
Other Instruments: Aside from the previous mentioned percussive instruments, there is also a mandolin played at one point.

Summary: The acceptance of instrumental music amongst the rock and modern genres is a relatively recent thing. Many find it difficult to place an identity to something without a traditional voice. Canvas Solaris is a band that could have easily been ruined by the addition of a cookie monster vocalist. Instead we are treated to a very full bodied and complete band without the addition of something so annoying. As a musical score can be considered manipulative to the mood of a movie, so would vocals be to the intended context of the music on Penumbra Diffuse.

The presentation is anything but heavy handed. Contrast and textures run throughout. When considering the band's given genre's description, the opening track, Panoramic Long Range Vertigo is quite the expected technical metal onslaught. The second track Horizontal Radiant is a less expected 11 minute-long tasty progressive voyage. The song gives an early understanding to the listener that this is not going to be your typical metal foray. By the time the fourth song comes around, Vaihayasa; which sounds much like a piece from Shakti, the listener is prepared rather than feeling like a passenger in a car that has just had the brakes slammed to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Perhaps the most interesting song is Psychotropic Resonance, a frantic borderline RIO piece.

Overall, I come away from listening to Penumbra Diffuse feeling that I have listened to more a progressive album, rather than a metal album.



Final Score: Not a perfect album, but its imperfections give it life. It is the kind of album that most listeners are surprised by the end that they have been listening to the same album the whole time. Highly recommended, four stars.

Tapfret | 4/5 |

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