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Solefald - World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud

Friday, January 16, 2015 - by Indie Recordings

World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud sees Solefald return to 1999’s postmodern album Neonism both lyrically and musically, entailing massive complexity. At the centre of the new album concept lies the idea of the Kosmopolis, or the World City. In Antiquity, Athens and then Rome were seen as the capitals of the world; in modern times, cities such as Paris, London and Berlin have all competed to be the Kosmopolis.

Over the last decade, Solefald have developed an epic, Norse-oriented expression. While writing World Metal, fellow composer goats Lars Are Nedland and Cornelius von Jackhelln took a good, long look in the mirror, and discovered that in their narrow focus on the Northern hemisphere, they had forgotten about much of the world. Thus, World Metal attempts at filling that rather considerable gap.

Lars Are Nedland comments: «Solefald has always been an adventurous band. With the band turning 20 in 2015, we found it was time to let our music travel and explore the world. And boy, did it travel; To the icy north for the cold metal that we hold so dear. To the hot, colourful continent of Africa for the intense rhythms that form the fundament that all rock music stands on. To India for the electronic beats that accompany the hallucinogenic trips of fat European tourists in batik sarongs, and to some obscure places that we really still have no clue about for just a touch of madness. Our music has travelled, our music has come home, and World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud is the result.»

Cornelius von Jackhelln comments: «World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud is an ecstatic album exploring widely different sounds, styles and languages, yet attaining oneness through Solefald’s Mysterious Song writing Ways. The guitar sound has been beefed up and stomped on, with twin Rat and Metal Zone distortion and Wah putting the axe back in power. In a tense world situation, World Metal has Solefald rediscover their initial playfulness and experimentation. We want to make our listeners laugh and cry, to make them attain ecstasy through music.»

Lars has gone out of his way to enrich the band’s layered sound with programming and techno beats, two other components that hark back to Neonism. As with the album’s precursor Norrønasongen. Kosmopolis Nord, the mercenary crew at work totals ten, with the rhythm section expanded by drummer Baard Kolstad (Borknagar, ICS Vortex), bassist Alexander Bøe (In Vain) and guitarist Petter Hallaråker (Rendezvous Point). 

Recorded in Norway and Tanzania, World Metal features the kalimba and guitar playing of Anania Ngoliga of Zanzibar, a renowned player in the World Music scene. By reaching out to the South, Solefald aim at obtaining a warmer, radiating sound. 

«Back to Africa, returning to the Source/Neonism revived, connecting to the Force» are the opening words of World Music With Black Edges. Densely merging Norwegian Metal, Dutch Techno and Zanzibari guitar strum, the song indulges in a vital, confident celebration of World Culture.

The Germanic Entity delivers a bone-crushing comment on power play in the Norwegian social democracy, indulging in a parodic conspiracy theory casting an informal leader as an emperor of a timeless Germanic dynasty. The guilty pleasure of 1990‘s eclecticism is at work in this song, where the friendly kalimba faces death metal growls, thundering drums and a wall of distorted guitars.

Bububu Bad Beuys is a merry impro piece conceived in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where Cornelius ran about in the studio backyard chasing chickens. World music percussionist Gunnar Augland sets the beat with local percussionist Raz, giving the Norwegian Gringo-singer sufficient wingroom for an assault of total chicken chic. The song ends with a hard-hitting stadium atmosphere developed by Lars. You got it: The letter is B!

Future Universal Histories is a Solefald microcosmos in the song writing style from the days of Neonism, containing a variety of atmospheres and soundscapes within the same song. The lyric describes our world as seen from the pre-World War II days, with a Modernist and a Prussian voice.

As always, Solefald’s sun worship is present in the song Le Soleil, where electro beats, death metal vocals by Sindre Nedland (In Vain, Funeral) and traditional black metal riffs score Edvard Munch’s monumental painting Solen («The Sun»), accompanied by a French/Norwegian poetic rendering by Cornelius - the band’s first French lyric in 12 years.

2011, Or A Knight Of The Fail. When writing Solefald lyrics for the first time since 2010, the need arose to address the terror attacks on Oslo and Utøya on July 22nd, 2011. The crime caused a national tragedy that redefined the Norwegian self-image. The narrator in the lyric expresses helplessness and grief, as well as anger at the idea of someone attacking innocent teenagers at summer camp.

String The Bow Of Sorrow commemorates a departed parent, and expresses sorrow with choirs, tremolo guitars and blazing drum beats. The music carries the hallmark of early Solefald, infused with black/thrash riffs and synth strings. The song contains the 1995 poem that gave the band its name, set to Theodor Kittelsen’s drawing «Solefald». 

Oslo Melancholy is an ambient hymn to the Norwegian capital and endless summer days on land and at sea.

World Metal is painstakingly mixed and tape mastered by Jaime Gomez Arellano at Orgone Studio in London, UK. The result is a massive, majestically sounding album combining analog and digital means of production. Solefald have never sounded better, as badwolfed, as bigmouthed bananas as the Bububu Bad Beuys can be. 

World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud to be released in 2015 via Indie Recordings on the 26th of January in NOR and EU and on the 30 th of January in GSA!

Track list
  • I. World Music With Black Edges (Kosmopolis Sud) - 7.57
  • II. The Germanic Entity (Kosmopolis Nord) - 8.12
  • III. Bububu Bad Beuys - 4.21
  • IV. Future Universal Histories (Umgangskrigen) - 6.50
  • V. Le Soleil - 5.48
  • VI. 2011, Or A Knight Of The Fail (Toteninsel) - 7.00
  • VII. String The Bow Of Sorrow (Solefald, 15.9.1995) - 6.38
  • VIII. Oslo Melancholy (Den Norske Sumaren) - 3.34

  • Lars Are Nedland: Song, Choirs, Synth, Programming & Beats
  • Cornelius von Jackhelln: Voice & Verse, Guitar, Melodica & Kazoo
The Kosmopolis Crew
  • Alexander Bøe: Bass Guitar
  • Petter Hallaråker: Lead & Rhythm Gitar
  • Baard Kolstad: Drums, Percussion

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