I didn't get much from my first listen with "In Harmonia Universali", just compact weirdness done by two guys who called themselves Cornelius and Lazare. A month passed and I thought I should have another go and settle my unfinished business with the band. As usual I hadn't paid much attention through the first spin, now after constant listening to it, my "compact weirdness" remark has been erased and most importantly I find myself liking it very much and have only recently fully realised the concept of SOLEFALD.
SOLEFALD is a meeting of two men who have a strong ear for strange musical patterns and adventurous songwriting, to their standards one song contains three small songs and that's basically how the songs on "In Harmonia Unversali" sound. The songs are a fusion of Metal heaviness and hymnal atmospherics and are extremely detailed often leading to OPETH and BORKNAGAR styling. These guys are incredible decorators; the erotic saxophone passages, sharpened Black Metal attacks, beautiful vocal arrangements and unpredictable motives, everything is appealing and done with a heavy sense of professionalism, it's like being projected into a highly decorated hallway. The vocals deserve some positive words, even though I dislike some of the laid back vocals, for a moment I was wondering if the band had dragged NEVERMORE vocalist Warrel Dane into the studio, maybe they did :).
SOLEFALD are interesting on all levels, the lyrics appear to be equally important. Cornelius, being a philosophical character, has no boundaries concerning topic or language and he's good at it, he can be very ironic sometimes but generally the lyrics are deep and I suspect them being attached to some kind of universal concept. SOLEFALD have recorded the opus at Toproom Studio, which is slowly becoming a hot address for Metal bands; sound wise the album combines the warmth of the atmosphere with the ongoing roughness of the guitars. I recommend this album to everyone who's open-minded to Metal music, especially fans of Progressive and Black Metal should invest in this great work of extreme musical science. (Online January 26, 2003)