CANVAS SOLARIS – The Atomized Dream

CANVAS SOLARIS - The Atomized Dream
  • 9/10
    CANVAS SOLARIS - The Atomized Dream - 9/10


Sensory Records
Release date: June 10, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The American Technical/Experimental Progressive Metal band Canvas Solaris was formed back in 1999. They started off as a kind of Death Metal band, but soon changed into an instrumental band. The band recorded an EP entitled Spatial/Design in 2002, and got the EP released by Tribunal Records the following year. In 2004 they released their first album, Sublimination, through the same label, and in 2005 they signed with Sensory Records (Spiral Architect, Circus Maximus, Zero Hour, Suspyre). Since the signing Canvas Solaris have released one album each year; Penumbra Diffuse (2006), Cortical Tectonics (2007) and finally the release that is the topic of this review; The Atomized Dream (2008).

After the release of Cortical Tectonics band founders Nathan Sapp and Hunter Ginn replaced departing guitarist/bassist Ben Simpkins with Chris Rushing (guitars), Donnie Smith (analog synth), and Gael Pirlot (bass). To add Donnie Smith to the ranks was a smart thing to do. Though analog synthesizers often are looked upon as dinosaurs that reached their high point with Jan Hammer and Mahavishnu Orchestra in the early 70s, they have a unique sound that Smith knows exactly how to make use of. With this “forgotten” sound, they’ve managed to blend modern day Technical Metal with the old styles of 70s Progressive Rock. “Chromatic Dusk” is a good example of this. There are technical riffs, played both by electric guitars and acoustic guitars, and there are synth driven parts that sound a bit like it would if Yes were playing Jazz Fusion.

The riffs are played with great perfection, and the transition between Heavy Metal parts and the Fusion are no short of fantastic. Canvas Solaris perform their weird fusion of many different genres with great confidence, and the songs are varied and good. It’s easy to say that they must sound a bit like Planet X due to their love for fusion, but Planet X is more melodic and not so bound to the Metal genre. Canvas Solaris is a band that rely more on intricate and rhythmic riffs.

The closer and most epic song of the album, “The Unknowable And Defeating Glow,” is brilliant. It lasts for a little over ten minutes and though parts are repeated from time to time, they are intricate and right for the song. You get everything from massive Metal mania with dissonant playing, that almost sound like chaos, to controlled parts where everyone plays the same riff simultaneously. Canvas Solaris is a band consisting of great musicians. They write good songs and they’re very technically skilled. You won’t go bored with this one, but it should, however, be mentioned that if you’re not a musician that enjoys odd-metered time structures and staccato rhythms there is a slight chance you won’t like this. This is a great release and is to be recommended to anyone that’s into instrumental and technical music.

Canvas Solaris is

Nathan Sapp – Guitar
Hunter Ginn – Drums/Percussion
Chris Rushing – Guitar
Donnie Smith – Analog Synthesis, Skeletal Timpani Actuation, Mobile Moog Restoration
Gael Pirlot – Bass/Big Muff Destruction

Track list

  1. The Binaural Beat
  2. Reflections Carried To Mirror
  3. Chromatic Dusk
  4. Patterns Spiral Into Swarm
  5. Heat Distortion Manifest
  6. Photovoltaic
  7. Solar Droid
  8. The Unknowable And Defeating Glow


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.