Released: 2010, Sensory
It’s been a couple of years since we last heard from CANVAS SOLARIS. In fact, I believe this is the first review of this veteran Prog-Metal band on this site so a bit of background is in order. This American, all instrumental band was formed in Georgia at the beginning of the decade. Prolific and consistent the band have put out five full-length’s and an EP since 2000. The band established a relationship with the Sensory record label several years back and it works well. You can set your clock by it, it’s June, it must be time for a new CANVAS SOLARIS album!
‘Irradiance’ is the latest offering, and this nine tracker came out in (naturally) June of this year. Although I really enjoy it I’m afraid it might be of a limited appeal to the broader spectrum of Metal fans. Many people, for whatever reason, just don’t appreciate instrumental work. That’s a shame because this is just a technical recording session. These are developed songs that just don’t happen to have lyrics. The songs aren’t even all that long, making it an easier listen. Having said that, the band does cram a lot of music and playing into each song.
This band has talent to spare, chops for miles and performances that flow like wine. It’s a tough road to travel, instrumental progressive Metal but as a sympathetic fan I can easily indulge in this complex, note dense album. Tons of time changes, solos, keyboards of many sounds and textures, all accentuate the cerebral nature of the band. It’s still pretty darn heavy too at times. The keyboards never overshadow the guitar and the drummer while very busy keeps it all in check. I guess you can never really overplay in Prog but this band does show enough restraint that it retains a sense of song compared to some of the freakier math-metal/jazz bands out there.
The familiar Sci-fi, futuristic themes are still relevant in the song titles and the packaging of the band, lack of media and perhaps even lack of a front-man, mascot, or giant inflatable monster, means that the band have suffered from a bit of a lack of identity. As pure musicians, I think they are not really worried about that. It would be nice to see this band get some more recognition and praise for doing a fantastic job.