Vol. 1: Solar
(Season of Mist)
If Portugal-based metal/art rockers, Earth Electric, are one thing, it’s goddamned listenable. The band’s sound is infinitely sharp, its mode ascending and purposeful. Former Mayhem guitarist, Blasphemer—aka Rune Eriksen—steers the ship, and does so with some epically high taste. The group’s debut, Vol. 1. Solar (let’s hope they make a shit ton of volumes), is righteous, forging subtleness and technicality in a way few band’s can do.
On their Facebook page, the group lists Deep Purple, Rainbow, Sabbath, Voivod, Priest, Mastodon, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Dead Can Dance (among others) as artists they like, and that’s a really cool list to consider when listening to these guys. The band has a maximization that centers on song structure; each composition is complete and architecturally sound. They work for the song. Around every corner and soaring apex are tasteful nods to the previous mentioned artists. It’s like a color wheel of musical dexterity when listening to Earth Electric.
“Solar” is propulsive, Eriksen leads the way with nuance and power. Every so often you can detect the darkness of Mayhem in the guitarist’s riffs and circuitry, blending ever so slightly into the expansive ‘70s prog and hard rock makeup of the band (there’s Led Zeppelin in outer space moments here). Carmen Simoes is a vision on vocals. Soaring into stardust and airy dimensions, she warms each composition up and rightly crushes it down. The band coalesces and expands mightily.
“Sabbatical Moons” is straight heaven riffs, the sort you cruise the moonlight to, spatial and eternal. The song is equal in weight, progressive and translucent, finding unique charm in its appreciation for the hook. There’s jazz hidden deep in the pockets, and the band plays effortlessly with the opening and closing of this elusive envelope. “Earthrise” comes out tenfold: hard and then deeply tight, with precise angles and special surveillance. “Sweet Soul Gathering”—the album’s closer—is a beautiful hymn, a chant to the universe and to the oneness of the collective.
Earth Electric is a ridiculously killer band, one with a soul for the‘70s, and a quickening mind for the entire history of rock and metal. You don’t write this good without a deep love for all the music that’s ever been written. It’s cool to see one of Mayhem’s greatest contributors riffing in new ways: still fierce, but free in a way that exposes a unique mindfulness for sound. This is a great record.