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ALBUM REVIEW: Vol.1: Solar – Earth Electric

EARTH ELECTRIC was formed in 2014 by Rune Eriksen and Carmen Susana Simões, and in 2014 they released a three track demo. Three years later, after some line-up and sound changes, EARTH ELECTRIC is back and releasing their debut album Vol.1: Solar on the world.

Mountains And Conquerors opens with a determined guitar riff, which is joined by drums, in an instrumental introduction, then by ethereal, high pitched vocals by Carmen Susana Simões.  The overall result is a combination of several styles; fast paced drums, angry guitars, and soulful, unnerving vocals which all meld together to create something really interesting. Musically, this hard rock album is a departure from what Rune Eriksen typically plays, and Mountains And Conquerors is a good introduction for the rest of the album, if this is what you’re into, keep listening.

Meditate Meditate has a chugging beat, bluesy guitars, not the calm and peaceful sound the name would suggest, apart from the vocals. This is the case for most of the album where rough guitars are juxtaposed with gentle singing. Set Sail (Towards The Sun) starts with a very peaceful harmony of female vocals that brings to mind a chapel choir, until aggressive guitar chords break the calm. Determined choir vocals fight against angry guitars, on the shortest song on the album, but if it were any longer, the effect would be lost.

Sabbatical Moons has a heavy introduction that gives way to a gentler guitar piece which in turn is joined by haunting vocals. It’s clear throughout Vol.1: Solar but specifically on Sabbatical Moons that EARTH ELECTRIC have drawn from the work of classic rock bands like DEEP PURPLE and BLACK SABBATH, while the vocals resembles WITHIN TEMPTATION’s vocalist Sharon den Adel.

Sweet Soul Gathering stands out on the album as being a bit different, with a more chorus feel, several different voices singing “sweet soul gathering” that all come together as one for the chorus. Gone are the chugging guitars and aggressive drums in place of gentle percussion firmly placed in the background. It’s extremely simple, and a departure from the rest of the album in every way, but it’s emotionally very moving. A unique song, it stands out as being special, and deliberately done.

EARTH ELECTRIC have produced an album which is instrumentally driven, and has been a chance to explore different genres for long time musicians, but this hasn’t affected the quality or created a mixed, unfocused album, rather it feels well put together. Vol.1: Solar isn’t relaxed, every note, every sound is different and keeps energetic, forcing itself forward as the album progresses, rarely letting up or letting you go.

Rating: 7/10

Vol.1: Solar - Earth Electric

Vol.1: Solar is out now via Season of Mist.

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