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Canvas Solaris - The Atomized Dream CD (album) cover

THE ATOMIZED DREAM

Canvas Solaris

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.55 | 34 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'The Atomized Dream' - Canvas Solaris (7/10)

Canvas Solaris have long been at the forefront of the technical metal scene. A band as consistent in any in their mission to deliver cerebral and sometimes puzzling music, this collective of skilled musicians has always had my respect. On their fourth album, 'The Atomized Dream' is a natural continuation of their trademark style of mathematically-driven progressive metal. Contrary to what this band is normally about however, there is an added slight emphasis on atmosphere and texture that slightly distinguishes this album apart from the rest, at least on a stylistic note.

'The Binaural Beat' immediately demonstrates that 'The Atomized Dream' is Canvas Solaris' attempt at broadening their sound a bit. Instead of the intensely technical observations I'm used to hearing on a record like their third, 'Cortical Tectonics', Canvas Solaris opens up this album on a much lighter note, even at times focusing on melody, something that- I can decidedly mention- hasn't been a brighter point of this band's music. In fact, even as the album's title and surreal artwork may suggest, the music here starts off in a fairly spacey direction, with plenty of atmosphere and ambient layering highly reminiscent of Ozric Tentacles. However, there is still the tech metal outlet on this album; after an uncharacteristic opener, 'Reflections Carried To Mirror' brings the listener a slice of Canvas Solaris that is much more familiar, perhaps too familiar. The fact that many of these guitar tones and general artistic approach the band takes with their more technical material here is almost a rehash of what they have already been doing for a few albums.

Now, a band like Canvas Solaris cannot ever be judged as weak musicians; after all, their very essence as a band is that of sheer technicality and logical precision. Still, the music on 'The Atomized Dream' comes off as a little dry, despite the atmospheric additions the guys have installed on their music. Instrumental music can have plenty of emotion in it, and there are moments here (such as a very melodic passage in 'The Binaural Beat') that make me feel something beautiful. All the same, the majority of this music shakes my head around without necessarily plucking the heart strings. There are plenty of erratic time signature changes and dense orchestrations as usual, and Canvas Solaris achieves a challenging record with 'The Atomized Dream' that requires several listens to really 'get', regardless of how familiar the sound may be to existing listeners of the group. While it may be a little cold, Canvas Solaris are sure to give your brain something to think about.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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