Jun 23, 2011

Sol - Offer Thy Flesh To The Worms ...

The endless string of interesting doom releases keeps on coming this year. I thought last year was maybe the best year ever for doom albums but 2011 might just be even better. This intriguing album comes from Danish band Sol which is the work of Emil Brahe and I am kind of lost for words describing this album but I found this text from Emil himself which at least gives some insight into the recording...

"The music of OFFER THY FLESH TO THE WORMS was recorded between early 2008 and late 2010. It resembles recordings made for various projects and musical experiments I did with various people. Then in 2010 I got the idea to use all these takes and unfinished tracks and make it a SOL album.
I then spend a couple of months rearranging and reproducing the album and fitting all the instruments into new compositions. Some songs are 100% old material revisited (such as the fifth track). Some songs are pure new recordings (such as the third track) and the rest is a mix of both."

"OFFER THY FLESH TO THE WORMS is an acoustic drone album (with the exception of electric guitar on the forth track) and it's an experiment to create the atmosphere in SOL via acoustic instruments. It has been a great challenge to use the particular instruments and to get them to work together. And when that is said I want to extend my gratitude to all of those involved in the recording, the making, and the releasing of this album." ( Sol -  Ván Records )

The music of Sol is doom but not metal, it is strange, captivating, meditative, emotional, experimental, orchestral, ambient and frankly leaves me a bit baffled. The weird array of instruments used that includes cello, accordion, clarinet, tuba, bells, violins, and something called a flugelhorn (whatever the hell that is) makes this a very odd sounding album within the drone-death doom landscape. The album is split into five parts, identified only by a number and these haunting compositions incorporate neo-classical and ambient/drone passages. There is no crushing doom here as this is a fairly somber album that will not appeal to traditional doom fans out there but if you are open-minded enough, you should find this strangely enjoyable.

In terms of doom metal, there is nothing much on offer, there is electric guitar only on one track from what I can tell and even in drone terms, there is really only one track that comes close to sounding like a typical drone-doom track and even that is too off-the-wall to be given the drone-doom tag. But in atmospheric terms, this is very much a doom album. Even the vocals are very unique, they are mostly low-whispered chants that sometimes build to louder tribal chanting but I have to wonder who will want to listen to this and then how often will it be played? In my opinion, the answer's there are not many and not much. Even though this is intriguing, interesting and has a chilling, haunting atmosphere, the truth is once you get used to the unique instrumentation, it doesn't have much left to call for repeated spins.

There really isn't another album around that sounds anything like this, that I've heard anyway, so this really stands out as a totally original album but I'm sure most readers of Doommantia won't like this. Maybe I am selling the readers short here but I can't see the traditional, stoner, drone, psychedelic doom-fan listening to this much more than 20 minutes or so. Open-mindedness is the key along with a deep appreciation for ambient music if you are going to get any pleasure of this album. However, I like this album even though I can't see myself being in the mood too often to actually listen to it. In conclusion this Sol album succeeds at being different but I just don't know who to recommend it to, I guess sample a track and judge it for yourself is the best advice I can give......7/10

SOL Official
Van Records

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