Solefald - _Pills Against the Ageless Ills_
(Century Media, 2001)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
Regardless of whether you ever happened upon either of Solefald's previous outputs, I advise you to have a look at www.solefald.org before proceeding, in order to gain some insight into their madness. Well, yes, madness; sorry boys, but I do think there has to be some sort of insanity ravaging your poor minds. The strange thing is, much like I mentioned in my Dornenreich review above, this insanity is able to somehow produce some musical and conceptual brilliance. At least it did on Solefald's debut _The Linear Scaffold_ [CoC #29]; I was -much- less impressed by their irritating follow-up _Neonism_ [CoC #43]. _Pills Against the Ageless Ills_ is fortunately a fine return to form for Solefald -- say, I wonder how hard the duo would laugh if they read that sentence. (If you don't know what I mean, then surely you haven't yet followed my advice and visited their website. You horrible person, you.) Lyrically, _Pills Against the Ageless Ills_ is a philosophically deranged concept centered around two miserable brothers: Pornographer Cain and Philosopher Fuck (which enables them to have such cute song titles as "Fuck Talks"). Musically, Solefald no longer go into classically influenced piano sections or flamenco passages like they did on _The Linear Scaffold_, nor do they go into the all-out weirdness of _Neonism_ (no more silly beats or those insufferable, admittedly rap-like vocals). Comparatively, _PAtAI_ is more straightforward and uniform -- technical blackened metal fused with plenty other guitar influences and keyboard effects ranging from violins to organs and various electronics. The strong, guitar-driven sound is complemented not only by the keyboards, but also the voices of Cain and Fuck themselves (i.e. simultaneously Cornelius and Lazare, the duo behind Solefald), which include thick black snarls, superb anguished screaming, and various types of well-performed clean singing and spoken vocals. The excellent opener "Hyperhuman" begins to show Solefald's dynamic and talented combination of the aforementioned elements, giving me the pleasant feeling that the excellent _The Linear Scaffold_-era Solefald might very well be back. Overall, while not quite as impressively affecting and full of flowing flair as _TLS_, _PAtAI_ stands as a great improvement upon its predecessor _Neonism_ in terms of sheer listenability and enjoyability. It's still adventurous, darkly humorous and insane enough to be a Solefald record, but this time they've used more of their very considerable talent to make it enjoyable for the listener -- much like _The Linear Scaffold_ was. Welcome back, Solefald.
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