Their last album "Pills Against The Ageless Ills" had been laying in my stomach like a stone, avantgardistic, very hard to digest, twisting my brain into oblivion. So should I even bother with "In Harmonia Universali"? Why not? The worst thing that can happen is that I'll have constipation for a few days…
And the beginning is promising as SOLEFALD seem to have toned down their avantgardistic vein a bit and have grown at least a little bit more accessible. Good! "Nutrisco Et Extinguo" is the title of the first track and it features some excellent melodies, progressive yes, but still accessible enough, mostly clean vocals (one more dark, the other one a higher one, which is a bit choral). No easy listening by far, still, but not as brain twisting as the previous album. Ok, the saxophone is a little out there (at least I think that it is a saxophone…), but it is still tolerable. And the following "Mont Blanc Providence Crow" is even better and even more accessible!
But with "Christiania (E.Munch Commemoration)" SOLEFALD are back on the track with more complexity than before (despite very accessible passages with very nice melodies) and this continues in a song like "Dionysify This Night Of Spring", where they use little disharmonies and layered vocals for a pretty original sound, which at the same time can have very catchy melodies, but then catch you completely unawares with a breakdown that nobody would have expected.
So SOLEFALD have changed a bit, but still are SOLEFALD, absolutely no question about that. "In Harmonia Universali" doesn't feel like a stone anymore, it is better digestible than "Pills Against The Ageless Ills", but not by much. So if you like your music avantgardistic and at times very demanding, then SOLEFALD are all yours, I will take a step back into the shadows and wait what happens next… (Online April 25, 2003)