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PILLS AGAINST THE AGELESS ILLS

Solefald

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Solefald Pills Against The Ageless Ills album cover
3.19 | 7 ratings | 1 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Hyperhuman (4:03)
2. Pornographer Cain (6:04)
3. Charge Of Total Effect (6:28)
4. Hate Yourself (5:27)
5. Fuck Talks (5:09)
6. The Death Of Father (4:46)
7. The USA Don't Exist (4:49)
8. Anti-City Strategy (4:33)
9. Hierarchy (4:57)

Total Time 46:16

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- Cornelius / vocals, guitar, bass
- Lazare / vocals, synthesizers, drums

Guest musician:

- Silje Ulvevadet Dæhli / violins

Releases information

CD Century Media(September 2001)

Thanks to Trickster F. for the addition
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Black for Death: An Icelandic Odyssey Pt 2Black for Death: An Icelandic Odyssey Pt 2
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SOLEFALD Pills Against The Ageless Ills ratings distribution


3.19
(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
29%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
29%
Good, but non-essential (29%)
29%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

SOLEFALD Pills Against The Ageless Ills reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Trickster F.
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Pills Against The Ageless Ills is the third full-length release by the influential Norwegian Avant-Metal duo Solefald, consisting of Cornelius and Lazare, and also their first concept album. Marginally different from their previous effort, the album is an emotionally charged and, somewhat straightforward if compared to its predecessor, musical journey into the issues of the contemporary society.

If one listens to Pills Against The Ageless Ills having followed the band's progression chronologically, album after album, a very noticeable change will, no doubt, stand out. A major problem of the previous releases was its poor production, and it was a great misfortune that sound quality stood in the way in fully appreciating those gems - so many interesting things were going on in those works. The discussed album solves this problem entirely, as everything sounds clear enough to be heard well on this release. While that is definitely positive when taken out of any context, a more important observation would be that this album is not a gem at all.

If opposed to the second release, the brilliant Neonism, the sound quality of which is arguably its only issue, Pills Against The Ageless Ills features tamer songwriting and musicianship. Surprisingly (as the sound of the album bears little resemblance to the music Cornelius and Lazare draw their influence from), much of the album is uncannily not unlike 90s alternative metal, straightforward and simple, at least in contrast to the milkshake of genres and ideas that was Neonism, effective use of keyboards and sudden changes being some of the few progressive elements present. A fresh look on the elements of the black metal scene of the early 90s as heard in Solefald's music, primarily shown in the "extreme" vocal style, some drumming and a bit of riffing, is typical to the post-black genre; however, it does not single-handedly form the progressive element.

The shift in vocal styles also deserves being paid attention to, albeit solely from Cornelius's side. The maniacal shrieking found in the first two Solefald releases is gone, replaced by a considerably toned down lower grunting vocal style. Lazare's vocal performance does not really require any comments at all, as usual. Always a remarkable singer since the first known recordings of his voice, he is one of the most recognisable "clean" singers in the progressive metal genre. His singing has not changed at all after all these years. However, there is another "clean" vocal styles that appears here, that has by now become as much of a trademark to Solefald as Lazare's voice has, that being the unusual raspy singing from Cornelius. Often resembling simple, rhythmical speaking, it manages to be far more expressive than one would expect.

The band always paid much attention to the contemporary life in its lyrics, and this album is not only not an exception, but the best example of these tendencies. The mainstream culture of consumerism and gluttony with all its ills is put to great scrutiny here, using the stock characters of Pornographer Cain and Philosopher Fuck. The concept album shifts between the two from one song to another, showing how their state of mind and philosophy manifest themselves as important events take place, and by the end of the album you will wonder which of them you find least repulsive. The artists themselves argue that there is a lot of Cain and Fuck in all of us. While the reason behind this statement is something each person should question on his or her own, I personally cannot disagree that seeds of both main characters are present in every person to a known extent.

The interruption of the review of the album's musical qualities is by no means accidental. Like many other concept albums, lyrics take a dominant place, to which the music serves merely as accompaniment, complementing and intensifying the ideas. When that is taken into account, it becomes clear why such sounds were chosen and why such a direction was taken. The music sounds more effective and fitting when the lyrical concept of the work is considered.

While I have to confess I would be dishonest if I claimed I do not enjoy this album and do not listen to it very frequently, I do strongly believe that the recording under analysis is the band's least progressive as well as least ambitious work. There is no reason not to check it out for those already familiar with the duo; however, to those not yet acquainted with them I strongly urge to find one of the first two releases instead, either The Linear Scaffold or Neonism that highlight the originality of the fresh blood the musicians brought to the world of music as well as their sheer creativity.

Though I believe that Pills Against the Ageless Ills is a step back from Neonism, it is nevertheless a step forward, progress (that is, development), without which future interesting works like In Harmonia Universali would not have been conceived in the way we know them. A lot could be improved about it, but it is still an enjoyable album.

Good, but non-essential

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Send comments to Trickster F. (BETA) | Report this review (#226735) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009

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