Finland’s Solarhall have released their debut album “Lokus” and it’s a case of a new band still looking for a firm identity. There are certainly some influences which is fine but the bigger issue is that stylistically, Solarhall are a bit all over the place. The opening track “Fenix” is more atmospheric dark prog but things change after that.
There’s a fair amount of blues rock on this album which is fine if you are into that. It’s not something that I’ve ever really liked. “Broken Man,” “Great Deceiver” and “The Wolf and the City” all fall into a bluesy, alt-rock category. “Shelter” sounds a little like Godsticks but it’s QUITE as good as they are. The longest track is “Sewer Man” which is a psych rock piece that has some very cool organ work. Things get more mellow half way into the song. Some fine guitar work as well. That is my favorite track because it shows the band stretching out more.
Vocally, Otto Juutilainen has a good voice that in some ways reminds me of Jon Crosby of VAST. He isn’t going to win any singing competitions but his voice always suits the song. The production and mix are very good as well. All in all, it’s a solid effort just not something that I personally would seek out and listen to. Having said that, there’s enough spark on “Lokus” that many people will enjoy it and I think it bodes well for the future of the band.
4.The Wolf and the City
7.Engulfed in Green
8.All Gods Live in Dark Houses