Love it or hate it, you have to accept that drone is a part of modern metal today just as much as potatoes are a staple of a meat and three veg meal. Drone may not be as digestible for some, but Mathias, the sole member of Solar Flare, lets his bass guitar hum a mantra to transform your current being. Solar Flare acts as a side-project for Mathias, who is known for his contribution to Impure Wilhemina, a band that delivers a diverse offering of atmospheric sludge metal.
If you consider yourself an avid doom metal fan, you’ll obviously find it easy to like the first 20 minutes of this split, which sees Mathias play equally wonderful and dark sounding droning bass passages that hold your hand and drag you into the darkness. I found the Solar Flare tracks extremely relaxing and made for good napping material, and I mean that in the best manner possible. Some of you may be different, but when it comes to music that loves to sustain a certain rhythm and certain musical notes, I love to bask in it; much like a hoarder may feel compelled to wallow in their own filth because it makes them feel like gods, but I digress… The voice samples add a tasteful layer to the droning ambiance, and may help jump start your imagination into thinking about some gritty scenarios that match the music. Overall, the Solar Flare tracks are performed with sincerity, and your patience will be well rewarded.
The highlight of this split is the powerful collaborative effort of Rorcal and Solar Flare, the overwhelming ‘La Ronde sous la Coche’. This track takes its name from a poem in a book titled ‘Gaspard de la Nuit’, an acclaimed piece written by French poet Aloysius Bertand. Rorcal and Solar Flare apparently locked themselves in a basement for 3 days to write and record the monstrous track, and it coalesced 2 basses and 3 guitars together to create this suffocating concoction. As you can probably tell, the poem was what inspired the musicians to create this track, and I still don’t know how they managed to do it. I mean, I read the poem and I didn’t get anything out of it. Maybe I suck at understanding metaphors or literature altogether, but whatever, at least I understand this track. The craftsmanship of this piece is immaculate, and having a drummer, guitarist and another bassist to accompany Mathias really helps out. Understandably, having 2 bassists adds even more heaviness to the track, plus you have the guitarists summoning the forces of Hell from their instruments… it just makes the sound that much more massive, and with the drummer slamming his snare and toms in a trance-inducing tribal rhythm, it just makes you feel like Elizabeth Bathory, writhing in the blood of murdered children.
… And now that we’re all grossed out with that last comparison, I highly recommend this split to all. Listen to it before it listens to you and your fearful whimpers in the darkness.
You can grab it from Rorcal’s website for free, or you can even buy it, but do hurry! It’s limited to 200 copies.