Solefald In Harmonia Universali

The bizarre musical entity that is the Norwegian two-piece Solefald has returned with In Harmonia Universali, and it feels a bit like a concept album. It isn’t, even though the separate tracks are linked as "ten songs, ten stories of extreme music science.” The concept feel largely comes out of the ’70s-styled progressive rock that infuses the album’s metal framework. With instrumentation as diverse as the languages it’s sung in — accompanying words in English, French, German, and Norwegian, are piano and Hammond organ, saxophone, and choir — the album abounds in little experimental journeys. Yet the end result is remarkably cohesive and actually quite fun to listen to. From the perspective of songwriting, In Harmonia Universali is strong and even, with nothing really standing out as worse or better. Lyrically though, it’s virtually impossible to let the words "buy my sperm” slip by without doing a little double take. Solefald is metal, yes, but it’s metal served up in some unorthodox flavours. (Century Media)