Canvas Solaris — Penumbra Diffuse
(Sensory SR3030, 2006, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Canvas Solaris is another gifted prog metal trio for the Laser’s Edge offshoot label Sensory who combine the proficiency of well thought out technical chops with clever execution. The Georgia-based trio doesn’t mince words (as the disc is all instrumental) but instead focuses on a good mesh of fiery riffs, unison playing, and controlled aggression. The best overall comparison I can make is to compare this seven track effort to the two Liquid Tension Experiment recordings anchored by Tony Levin and featuring members of Dream Theater stretching out into a more satisfying venture. Guitarist Nathan Sapp clearly demonstrates a mastery of the six string axe, unabashedly getting grungy or relying on open string chords to craft a frantic phrasing that challenges and asserts. The two acoustic tracks in particular are well crafted relief pieces for all the pent-up youthful assertive tracks. “Vaihayasa” relies on tabla to create an eastern motif for Ben Simpkin’s nimble 12-string guitar playing that really delivers. “Horizontal Radiant” stands as the high watermark on the disc with Simpkins and drummer Hunter Ginn exercising some tight interplay. The disc’s closing ambient excursion, “Luminescence,” shows the band in more reflective mode with keyboards taking a more prominent role as the group introduces fusion themes into their oeuvre. The group’s MySpace page also features jaw-gaping bonus tracks which will keep new fans easily wanting more. Overall this is a trio to keep an eye out for in the near future.
Related artist(s): Canvas Solaris
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