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Canvas Solaris

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Canvas Solaris The Atomized Dream album cover
3.69 | 48 ratings | 4 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Binaural Beat (5:10)
2. Reflections Carried to Mirror (4:20)
3. Chromatic Dusk (3:53)
4. Patterns Spiral into Swarm (4:55)
5. Heat Distortion Manifest (5:42)
6. Photovoltaic (8:33)
7. Solar Droid (4:33)
8. The Unknowable and Defeating Glow (10:20)

Total Time 47:26

Line-up / Musicians

- Nathan Sapp / guitars, keyboards
- Chris Rushing / guitars
- Donnie Smith / keyboards, theremin
- Gael Pirlot / bass, Chapman Stick
- Hunter Ginn / drums, percussion

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: Mars-1

CD Sensory ‎- SR3043 (2008, US)

Thanks to Plankowner for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy CANVAS SOLARIS The Atomized Dream Music

CANVAS SOLARIS The Atomized Dream ratings distribution

(48 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

CANVAS SOLARIS The Atomized Dream reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another departure, or should I say progression, for this tight quintet as they continue exploring their world of internal metal. In fact at this stage in their evolution, Canvas Solaris aren't necessarily what you'd call a heavy metal band to the extent that they are completely liberated from it, the crisp guitar assaults and dual dynamite of Chris Rushing and Nathan Sapp an equal but not domineering ingredient aside Donnie Smith's Euro-freak synths. The result is something refined and balanced, a nu metal alchemy with some healthy minimalist and Postrock influences. Whether this sound is embraced or not is to be seen. One thing is sure; this band is not out to please anyone but themselves. And would we have it any other way?

Don't be scared off by the spelunking of 'The Binural Beat', they snap out of it soon enough on 'Reflections Carried to Mirror' where the heat is turned up a bit with chiming twelve-strung choruses a la Satch's 'Engines of Creation' period. The awkward rhythmatics of 'Chromatic Dust' are unfortunate but redeemed by the killer and fusiony 'Patterns Spiral Into Storm' and 'Heat Distortion Manifest', smoke and mirrors of 'Solar Droid' and very prog 'The Unknowable and Defeating Glow' at 10 minutes. For fans of metal that doesn't discriminate, and of artists as Sleep Terror, The F*cking Champs and Counter-World Experience.

Review by ProgBagel
3 stars Canvas Solaris - 'The Atomized Dream' 3.5 stars


Canvas Solaris once again tries to revamp their unique style of tech-metal and graft some new styles. On the 'Atomized Dream', some post-rock and minimalistic influences are thrown into the cog wheels. The problem that occurs on this album is that the new influence is merely separated from the technical metal and not painted in with it. In other words, this is a disconnected piece of work. There are still many niece sections and tracks themselves.but I don't find anything to really stand out except for 'Reflections Carried to the Mirror', which is really the only one that merges the two styles on this album together.

Some other helpful additions include a much more prominent synthesizer, but still a mostly backing instrument to the guitar which is the obvious forefront for this band. Speaking of which, the guitars are still pumping out great technical and speedy riffs that still maintain a listenable melody, a trademark of this band.

This album is still lacking some of the finest features of this band, but it is still a really good album in my opinion. I will still continue to purchase their albums for a little longer.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A very active band, Canvas Solaris keeps releasing one album per year, similarly to those classic prog rock bands who delivered a new studio effort every 9-10 months, at times releasing two albums in one same year. Well, this canvas Solaris that has just released "The Atomized Dream" is a different one since it is no longer a peculiar power trio and now has become a quintet with the assumption of a fixed bassist's role (filled by Gael Pirlot) and a permanent keyboardist (Donnie Smith). This means that there are now two fixed guitarists in the band, and one of them is newcomer Chris Rushing replacing Simpkins. The album as a whole signals a more subtle elaboration of the powerful complex metallic rock that the band had made its signature through its previous recordings: this means that the fusion element has been reduced in favor of a bigger depth on space-rock and electronic explorations. The space-rock factor is very prevalent in the first three tracks, with various levels of preeminence. 'The Binaural beat' offers a monolithic ambience a-la Ozric Tentacles-meets-Hydra Spacefolk, perhaps with a lesser degree of density. 'Reflections Carried to Mirror' establishes a well ordained alternation of robust prog metal motifs and cosmically driven electronic passages. Last, but not least, 'Chromatic Dusk' creates agile industrial atmospheres focused on the techno side of space-rock: the presence of acoustic guitar ornaments provides a pertinent series of textures to the installation of the track's main motif. 'Patterns Spiral into Swarm' brings us the first straightforward connection with the best of Canvas Solaris' preceding two albums: sophisticated sonic elaborations and electrifying timbers revolving around the mixture of thrashed prog metal and jazz-rock, with hints to Crimsonian guitar attacks in some strategic places. But there is more for those who miss the older Canvas Solaris - 'Heat Distortion Manifest' brings a manifestation of pure metallic aggressiveness, combining density and grayness with a clever architecture of sonic power. The influence of Gordian Knot had been vital for Canvas Solaris to grow up stylistically from the "penumbra Diffuse" days, and since this thread had been partially present in some moments of the repertoire, it is only logical that at least one track should bear the aforesaid influence in a more patent fashion, and this is precisely the case of 'Photovoltaic', a hypnotic exercise on dynamic jazz-rock, focused on eerie moods and with a strong Crimsonian component. The moments in which the guitar parts get really heavy are mostly expansions on the serene motifs that had been installed earlier. Within its 4 minute span, 'Solar Droid' has lots of things cooking in a notable exhibition of complexity and chaos: neurotic distortions, radical contrasts of dual guitar shrapnel and silent breaks, unexpected synth ornaments, bizarre links between motifs. The synthesized effect that closes down this track opens the door to the last one, 'The Unknowable and Defeating Glow', which occupies the album's last 10 minutes. This track perpetuates the band's habit of finishing an album with a long track: this one encapsulates the psychedelic, spacey and jazz-rock friendly ambiences that had previously appeared in the preceding pieces: the metal factor is present in some climatic passages. There are certain moments in the interlude in which the band flirts with noise, eventually leading to the explosion of lysergic chaos: the closing climax is very effective in its majestic martial scheme. Canvas Solaris offers yet another excellent adventure, "The Atomized Dream" - while not being as explosive as the band's previous two efforts, it sure keeps the flame of experimental prog metal's creativity alive.
Review by Conor Fynes
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.

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