Solstice Coil – Natural Causes [2011]

Band: Solstice Coil
Album: Natural Causes
Release year: 2011
Genre: Alt. Rock/Prog. Rock

Israel has never really being noted for its music scene – Especially the rock scene – But now a new band have emerged on the scene known as Solstice Coil. Being Israel’s first alt-prog-rock band, they are set to bring exposure to Israel’s diverse music scene. Their first album, Paper Cuts, which was released in ‘05 was well received by both the media and the public.

“Questions Irrelevant” begins the album with the sounds of telephones ringing and people talking. The drums and guitars soon enough replace the sound samples, creating a raw, melodic sound. The vocals are soft and mystifying, like the soothing effect a lullaby has on a baby. The song has a few changes through out its progression but none of the changes ruin the song or its composition values. The guitar solo that acts as the outro is brilliant but it does feel as if it was place in the wrong section. “Outcome Inevitable” seems to carry on from where “Questions Irrelevant” finished. The song feels more like a progressive-meets-jazz track before it turns into a heavier rock composition.

The third track “Fall Schedules” starts with a very alternative based introduction. Like the first track, the vocals appear in the softer track for the most part though when the guitars turn heavier, the vocals do make a few appearances. The combination of the usual instrumentation of guitars, bass and drums coupled with some other sounds makes for an interesting experience for the ears. The slightly more melodic-yet-softer guitar riff eases the listener into the track entitled “I Know”. The drum work is weak on this track, as are the guitars, leaving the vocals being the only strong point of the song. “Human Again” has a slower approach to the music. The drums do well to adapt to the progression of the song. The vocals are soft and harmonious, very easy on the ears.

Though it has somewhat of a grim and macabre name, “Singalong Deathtrap” is certainly not a grim track. Though it starts slow, the tempo soon increases, making the song feel more energetic and powerful. The vocal work is much more diverse, featuring a mix of high and low notes. The keyboard sections certainly add a unique sound to the music as well whilst the guitar solo adds that final perfect detail. The sound of vocals and acoustic guitars usher in the next song “Walking Graveyards”. If acoustic guitars aren’t your cup of tea, you’re in some form of luck as the track features the use of electric guitars as well. In one part, the synth section sounds almost jazzy. “Too Many Regrets” has a somewhat soft-Goth feel and sound at the beginning, which is no doubt created by the synths. While it’s a good effect, it doesn’t work with the guitars, leading the listener to be tempted to press the skip button. The vocals however save the track from total devastation.

“Moral Oxidation” is a mediocre song with nothing standing out too much to make it something superb. “Replacing People” has a good intro, being composed of a piano and a melodic guitar section. The vocals, when combined with the piano, make the song sound like an 1920s love song from the States. The guitar solo is a welcome break in the song for those who aren’t a fan of pianos. “Designed Instincts” brings the rock back to the album, though in what sounds to be a palm muted way at the beginning. The guitars are raw sounding but strong, as are the drums. The vocals keep the alternative sound flowing through the song as well. The album comes to an end in the form of none other than “Recipe For Eternity”, which begins with a combination of melodic guitar work and violins which are eventually joined by the vocals. The song progresses into a very dramatic song due to the use of violins coupled with the guitars and drums. The organ-synth sounds do take something away from the song however, making it less enjoyable.

”Natural Causes” requires a few listens before one can make a proper judgement if they’re not used to alternative progressive rock. Solstice Coil have proven themselves to be a talented band with some well constructed songs and catchy riffs, though there are parts of “Natural Causes” that do still need some work. Regardless, the band are certainly paving the way for the next generation of rock bands in Israel and potentially the world.

3.6/5

Nico Davidson

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