Solution .45
Nightmares in the Waking State, Pt. 2


3.5
great

Review

by XfingTheSullen USER (53 Reviews)
September 3rd, 2016 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Whereas Nightmares in the Waking State, Part 1 was Solution .45's least interesting album, Part 2 turns out to be their most.

Glaring discrepancies between the quality of supposedly twin albums happen sometimes, and when they do, they are as baffling as they are difficult to explain. After Solution .45's last year offering, everyone except perhaps the most hardcore fans, was left with a bitter taste in their mouth after witnessing how unremarkable the album was. Understandably, expectations concerning the follow-up were tempered. But turns out we are in for a pleasant surprise after all.

Solution .45 with Nightmares in the Waking State, Part 2 really leave what based on their previous albums can be assumed to be their comfort zone, while also finally beginning to establish a really distinct sound that can be called their own. What used to be a Scar Symmetry/Disarmonia Mundi tribute band and little else, has now begun to carve out a niche. While the band for the most part preserves the riffing patterns they've been known for, it's the arrangements these riffs find themselves surrounded by that make all the difference in the world.

Mediocre to bad songwriting is mostly gone in favor of songs featuring nonstandard structures, full-on progressive metal elements, and even more-than-token ambient and drone touches. The songs are written in a much more seamless manner and create much better wholes than for instance the band's glorified but ultimately failed prog song effort, Clandestinity Now. This time the guys didn't try to bite off more than they can chew, with the longest song clocking in at 7:22, and this approach serves them really well, as Built on Sand ends imperceptibly, feeling much shorter than it is in reality. The entire listening experience of Part 2 is more as if one was listening to toned-down progressive metal than upbeat, poppy melodeath the band was previously known for - it is though by no means a bad thing. It is entirely heartening to see the direction the guys are taking the project in.

With the illustrious Christian Älvestam on vocals, it is obvious he deserves a mention too. Even in spite of his already respectable prowess, his performance on this effort gives the impression that he has been working to improve his technique still. His clean vocals sound better than ever, especially in the highest registers, where he has greatly improved his tone, flexibility and freedom - further augmented by the fact of an extremely favorable production. The choruses and clean parts themselves have always been hit or miss with Solution .45, with several great ones and many lacking ones on the previous outings, but this time around they are practically all spot on - a "less is more" approach is taken, with melodies generally being simpler and notes held for longer, which definitely succeds in making them more memorable. Consequently, the choruses are extremely catchy and rewarding, even though (or perhaps even more so that) they mostly find themselves in mid to downtempo, droning, progressive songs rather than simplistic "Death Jovi" anthems of the past, one outlier being the surprisingly upbeat and cheeky Misery Mantra, a great way to break up the album towards the end. Growls over uplifting 12 string guitar riffs are just one of many unexpected tastes and touches this album has in store.

Nightmares in the Waking State, Part 2 is a veritable treat for all fans of Älvestam's vocal prowess. Moreover, the results of songwriting experimentation on this album are sometimes really spectacular and are one of these instances where one is forced to think that for bands to try new things every once in a while can indeed be a great thing (In Flames, don't take this to heart please). Seeing how such good songs are pulled off so seemingly easily, it only begs the question: "Was it so hard to do earlier""



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user ratings (34)
Chart.
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
XfingTheSullen
September 3rd 2016


4130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've uploaded the artwork, it should be up when the mods accept it

FrozenVain
September 3rd 2016


2960 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good read! Glad to hear that you think this is better than part 1. Part 1 sucked. Pos'd.



The album cover is awful though. Extremely lazy.

XfingTheSullen
September 3rd 2016


4130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, palette-swapped cover arts have been done before, it does reinforce the connection between the albums

silentstar
September 3rd 2016


2506 Comments


any song like Lethean Tears on here? always loved that one

XfingTheSullen
September 3rd 2016


4130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nothing quite as emo on here

Darkwatch025
September 3rd 2016


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I love this album. In my opinion I think it contains some of Alvestam's best clean vocals ever. Way better overall than part 1. What Turns the Wheels is already one of my favorite songs of all time. Seriously. Misery Mantra, Built on Sand, Heavy Lies the Crown, and The Faint Pulse of Light are also highlights for me. This is the feeling I wanted to get from listening to Part 1, but something was missing. The vocal melodies on part 2 have blown me away so far. This is the exact type of music I am always searching for. This album along with Witherscape's Northern Sanctuary and Subliminal Fear's Escape from Leviathan are my favorite metal albums of 2016 so far. Too bad nobody even knows who Subliminal Fear is. If anyone decides to check them out, listen to the song Nexus.

Toondude10
September 3rd 2016


11718 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I honestly don't like Alvestam's cleans at all, granted they're better than they were before but they're still incredibly uninteresting imo.



The Faint Pulse Of Light fucking rules though.

Digging: Machine Head - The Blackening

XfingTheSullen
September 3rd 2016


4130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the vocals are better than ever too, just like I wrote in the review. So many extremely catchy choruses on here too. The curse that keeps on giving can't leave my head for a while now

Snide
September 3rd 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album's great. The instrumentals are fantastic.

AaroN911
September 6th 2016


1861 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I pre-ordered the album and still don't have it... I am pretty upset

Digging: The Dear Hunter - All Is As All Should Be

AaroN911
September 6th 2016


1861 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It came in the mail today and it is a solid album!

XfingTheSullen
September 8th 2016


4130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's 3,3-ish, but those prog songs like built on sand are real stayers

Whispered4tw
September 8th 2016


853 Comments


Nowhere near the songwriting of Holographic Universe or even the S.45 debut, but it's ok I guess. Just not very exciting.

AaroN911
September 8th 2016


1861 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

PBP is still top notch compared to the rest

wwf
September 8th 2016


5697 Comments


that album art is heinous

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

AaroN911
September 8th 2016


1861 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah the color is a bit ugh

Darkwatch025
September 8th 2016


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The more I listen to this album the more I love it. Not one weak track in my opinion. The final three tracks are so good.

AaroN911
September 19th 2016


1861 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I feel like it's not getting the attention I would expect from fans of SS and Solution .45 here

XfingTheSullen
September 20th 2016


4130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

there aren't that many to be fair

FrozenVain
September 20th 2016


2960 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Man, I thought this would be better. This is only very slightly better than Part 1 imo. Pulse of Light and Built on Sand are good.



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