I don't think they actually sell their album but you can download the entire thing here - [url]http://soliisombra.com/[/url]
I was originally introduced to this band by none other than the infamous DFelon. There is no written lineup, just their first names - John, Jemayel, Eugene, Dutch and Alysse. It is an interesting blend of alt rock with a latin flare. Prog just has to go in there because....well that's what it is. This isn't the crazy solo kind of prog but the more musically interesting and original type. DT vs. Opeth kind of thing, Solos vs. Tri-tones. Don't start thinking metal though. The closest comparison I can find for them would be Dredg. One of the first things you notice about the band, is the female singer. She has a great voice. It fits the music very well. The album has a slightly strange quality to it, but it doesn't in any way take away from the music. The name means "Light and Shadow" in Latin as I have been told by the bassist (A pseudo rock star talked to me!). This EP has only 7 songs and is a concept as far as I can tell. It clocks in at 42:24. Now for the track by track.
This song is a great opener. It begins with some nice delay/echo effects. It is very melodic and the only track with a male voice singing. The lyrics are haunting "I am the butcher, a killer defined"
. There is a rhythm that comes back occasionally. My biggest complaint with this song and the band in general is that they never seem to quite climax as fully as I'd like. They build and build but the burst is never quite enough to send me over the edge. I get over it though. The violin in this track is a nice touch. The chorus is very nice to listen to as well and I think the vocals are doubled there. There is a very nice demi break down about 2/3 the way through the song and it ends with static. Exactly where...
...picks up. This is possibly the best song on the album. The only downside is the lack of vocals and only because her voice would be very fitting, even without words. The rhythm is clearly a very important part of their music. That does not mean however, that the notes are left behind. The song ends with a strange sample of a poorly tuned radio to a bizarre station.
The Safest Place
This song begins with a piano part that is one chord. The interesting part is though, the gaps. You can hear what chord should go there, it just doesn't. The guitar is akin to Johnny Greenwood's with tremelo and effects. This song is a bit repetitive but still very well written. The break down about halfway is really strong. The song is almost split into two parts. The first half and last part of music are almost like radio song. Then the end and interludes in the middle are like a strange instrumental. A good song overall.
II: Armadillos in Captivity
This song opens with some interesting guitar chords. Each of the numbered songs are instrumentals. This one is almost as good as I: Armadillos
The bass plays a major role in this song. It has a little solo near the begninning and is always very audible. This song can get a little old but is again, too well written for that to matter.
Inside the Robot Lair
This begins with an interesting piano part and is surrounded by noises and a quiet drum and bass part. This is another instrumental. This is a very melancholy song. I really like it. It's also the shortest song on the album at 1:49
House of Cards
House of Cards feels like a continuation of Inside the Robot Lair despite the fact that the parts are different. It opens with a very similar feel and arrangement. The vocals are not the kind that jump out at you in this song. They sit back with the instruments. This song is really laid back and has a lot of tension in it. Another song that ends with static.
III: The Battle
Begins with the tail end of House of Cards' static then into guitar. This song seems like it has that laid back feel again but then it bursts into what would be DEP without crazy drumming or distortion. There are also no vocals but there are samples of voices. It's a pretty chaotic song despite the relativley slow speed. The song then lapses back into a more mellow sound. It builds and builds ofr a few minutes adding lots of tension. It's interesting how you can almost hear the battle going on. What it's for is beyond me. At 8:12, the guitar blasts back with a little solo that is the same melody as from I: Armadillo. There is a bit of distortion here and it is about as heavy as the album gets - not very. The song then dies back down as though the battle has concluded. The song just sort of drizzles away and the album is over. This is the longest song at 12:57
This album really shows how this band has a lot of potential for commercial success. It also shows how they could easily turn off the masses. I really enjoy it but wish for more actual songs. That's not to say I don't enjoy their screwing around, but I want more songs. This is definitly something to check out. If you've ever seen them live (from SoCal) I'd like to hear about it.