Canvas Solaris – Penumbra Diffuse

Huh!?? That was my first impression when I first saw the abstract looking cover and read the name and title. To be honest, I have been so busy I didn’t even look over the promo material and this CD was going into the ‘Don’t Review’ pile before I even gave it a fair listen. But before I could get to that ‘pile’ – the phone rang and I put the disc down among my, ‘I’ve really got to go through this paperwork before it gets much higher,’ pile. Hence giving Canvas Solaris a second shot at my ears.

Now I am kind of embarrassed to admit to all this because these three fellows are some creative monsters. I was completely impressed with this disc from beginning to end. Though it has some serious fusion and progressive influences, these guys are rooted in heavy metal. Now don’t get me wrong – there isn’t a lot on this disc that really sounds heavy metal but I know metal players when I hear them. There is just a certain aggressive tendency that shines through the music.

Regardless, Canvas Solaris has grown far past their metal roots and are now a force to be reckoned with. I don’t have much basis for describing their sound other than there are remnants of King Crimson to Metallica along with even hints of Pink Floyd perhaps. I believe anyone who can handle instrumental music and likes the three groups I just mentioned would dig Canvas Solaris.

There are a lot of lush textures as well. So it doesn’t appear to be as riff driven as it actually is. I think this can be to their advantage as I think Penumbra Diffuse would appeal to those usually not willing to take in the typical riff fest that is often offered by progressive/fusion type bands. The disc lends itself quite well as background music but once it hooks you with some of these riffs – you are hooked.