CANVAS SOLARIS – Penumbra Diffuse

CANVAS SOLARIS - Penumbra Diffuse


Laser’s Edge/Sensory
Release date: January 17, 2006

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With their second full length album, Penumbra Diffuse, the trio in Canvas Solaris take yet another step into the obscure world of unexplored music. Their roots in Metal are not forgotten, still there are moments on this album further from Metal than you could possibly imagine …

The Music

Imagine is precisely what you have to do … because the music appeals to your imagination in a both forceful and subtle way. Comprised of seven quite diverse compositions, Penumbra Diffuse takes you through a number of expressions: some easy to categorize, some more radical, and then some less defined, but yet immensely moving. The sum of these expressions paints pictures in your head as if you are watching a movie and the music is its soundtrack.

The sepia-toned and nearly diffuse cover is in sharp contrast to the much more colorful and abstract, yet structural, music on the CD. In spite of extensive use of synthesizers, Penumbra Diffuse has a warm, analogue sound. The occasional use of acoustic instruments naturally contributes to this sound.

When picking favorites, it’s hard to omit the two longer tracks, “Horizontal Radiant” and “Luminescence.” Both have all the momentum and tranquillizing properties you could ever want. Worth mentioning also is the head-on opening “Panoramic Long-Range Vertigo,” without speaking any less of the remaining four compositions!

The Band

The individual technical skills are obvious, but although substantial to their expression, the focus on that should not be exaggerated! Nathan Sapp (guitars and various synths), Ben Simpkins (bass, guitars and various synths), and Hunter Ginn (drums and various percussion) manage to establish a platform with their individual and collective skills. From this platform they launch a turbulent, but adventurous, ride into the parts of space they believe are worth visiting. You have absolutely no influence on the itinerary, as long as you open up to their terms. In return, you get to go where few have been before you.

The Verdict

All of this leads to a dilemma: the sound of Canvas Solaris is complex, and therefore it may exclude many from the ride. If you are an explorer, though, you could definitely be in for something amazing …


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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