Solefald “Pills Against the Ageless Ills” (2001)

Solefald followed the provocation of “Neonism” with the more streamlined and tougher sounding “Pills Against the Ageless Ills.” A concept album, it follows the tragicomic tale of the brothers Pornographer Cain and Philosopher Fuck after Cain is tried and found guilty of murder. His victim? None other than Seattle’s god of grunge, Kurt Cobain. I would talk at length about the subtext of this goofy conceit, but I’ll leave that simple pleasure to the listener.

While the concept is outrageous, the songs are considerably tamer. The wildly eclectic arrangements of “Neonism” give way to proper tunes, off-kilter extreme metal with pop hooks, punk riffs, jazz breaks, and classical interludes providing choruses and counterpoint. Too often, the material veers into repetitious slogs with one too many riff cycles. The best songs are the catchier ones. “The USA Don’t Exist” is particularly effective, relying on one hell of a hook and a great chorus. The production this time out is heavier and clearer, losing some personality in exchange for a lot of power, but the balance sheet is favorable.

After the surprise and novelty of “Neonism,” “Pills” is somewhat disappointing. You expect something off the hook but end up with a refined version of the same old thing. But ultimately that’s okay, because the album gives you the band’s whole spiel in a tight little package. If “Neonism” is an experimental drug, “Pills” is the test marketed final product. It goes down nice and easy.

-James Slone


Release:  2001
Label:  Century Media
Avantgenre:  Satirical Metal
Duration:  46:16
Origin:  Norway
Official site:
Review online since:  22.07.2007 / 15:04:10


01. Hyperhuman
02. Pornographer Cain
03. Charge Of Total Effect
04. Hate Yourself
05. Fuck Talks
06. The Death Of Father
07. The USA Don’t Exist
08. Anti-City Strategy
09. Hierarchy

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