Tom Hayes 16-April-2001 Sol Niger Within

Where the classic early 1970's German label Ohr meets 1980's thrash sensations Slayer. Have your attention? If not, put this puppy in and the music will do the rest. What Thordendal has done is nothing short of brilliant forward thinking, mixing extreme thrash metal (similar to his band Meshuggah) with the experimental and avant-garde. In short, Sol Niger Within is one long track broken into 29 movements that spans over 40 minutes. Contained within are brutal staccato metal riffs, symphonic synthesizer runs, scattered jazz drumming, pipe organ and drum jams, altered vocals (both scratchy-evil and distorted low narration, but never death metal), free sax blowing and a lyrical quotient that would make William Burroughs or Aldous Huxley scratch their head. The idea behind the lyrics is that all is God and God is all, and the music fits the nightmarish journey of coming home (so to speak). In fact, the album begins somewhat like a more sophisticated thrash album and ends as wild as any music to come from the psychedelic scene. There really isn't any album that I've heard like it and, given the state of today's progressive genre, that's saying something. An absolute must listen, even for metal-phobes.

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