Canvas Solaris have been a big name in hyper-technical progressive metal since their Spatial/Design EP in 2003, three years after their inception. Releasing three full-lengths in the four years following their breakthrough, their fecundity is still however overshadowed by the skill and surprising freshness of ideas contained in their music.
Their music is a semi-spastic progressive metal featuring impressive instrument gymnastics and a jazzy flair. Their use of memorable melodies set to very odd timings and rhythms makes their sound very unique and ever-compelling.
Up until now, they have existed as a threesome of Nathan Sapp, Hunter Ginn and Ben Simpkins, but ‘The Atomized Dream’ marks a departure for bassist/guitarist/keyboardist Simpkins and the subsequent arrival of three new members, splitting Simpkins previous jobs between them. The resulting sound is more keyboard orientated than that of their previous releases and due to the extra members, more depth is added to the songs, with multiple layers to the tracks, each showing off great melodic understanding and technical ability.
Nathan Sapp and Chris Rushing make a great duo on guitars. Both of their playing is very impressive; stopping and starting, switching time signatures effortlessly and never sacrificing melody or coherence. The keyboards are used very effectively, adding not only a very full-sounding atmosphere to the tracks, but also coming forward as a lead instrument at many points. Ginn’s drumming is very proficient; he keeps very complex rhythms going alongside very impressive fills to add another dimension to the music. The bass is unfortunately rather inaudible for the majority of the album, but when it is used more prominently, Pirlot’s skill is displayed effectively.
The Atomized Dream is technical, intelligent and melodic enough to appeal greatly to fans of their previous work and also of any other progressive metal bands on the more experimental side of the genre, such as Spiral Architect, Spastic Ink or Cynic. Well worth the listen.
01 – The Binaural Beat