A solar flare is, by definition a mass ejection of energy from the surface of the sun that, when it reaches Earth, causes disruptions to the planet. Keeping that in mind, it leaves one wondering how the independent rock band Solar Flare developed its name. While the band’s forthcoming self-titled debut album – due out Friday – is an interesting offering from the quintet, it is not a work that will disrupt the music industry. It is a good first effort from the band, though. That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements, which will be addressed shortly. For the good that the record’s arrangements do for its presentation, its production adds its own unique touch to the presentation and will be addressed a little later. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements. Together with the production and the songs themselves, the album proves itself a presentation that maybe won’t make a major impact with its release, but will still impress listeners in its own right.
Solar Flare’s self-titled debut album is a positive start for the Ohio-based hard rock quintet. Scheduled for release Friday, the 37-minute record features seven songs that old school metal fans will appreciate. That aspect forms the foundation for this record. The arrangements featured throughout the album will take listeners back to another age of hard rock and metal. ‘Medieval,’ the album’s opener is a power metal type work that instantly lends itself to comparisons to works from Iron Maiden in its youth. The same can be said of the album’s second offering, ‘Under The Sun.’ ‘Born to Burn’ is more akin to early works from perhaps Deep Purple. ‘Pharaoh,’ the album’s midpoint, is easily likened to works from Judas Priest, while ‘Nous Sommes’ is another Iron Maiden type work. ‘Taken To The Other Side’ could easily be compared to so many power metal works, including those of Iron Maiden and other well-known bands as could the album’s closer, ‘The World in My Head.’ Simply put, listening to this record, the arrangements will take listeners back in time and remind listeners fondly of the old school metal songs that served as the foundation for so much of today’s music within the metal and rock realm. At the same time, the arrangements also serve to display the band members’ own talents without just being a bunch of rip-offs of music from the band’s influences. Keeping that in mind, the record’s arrangements serve as a good starting point for the album.
While the arrangements that make up Solar Flare’s body serve as a good starting point for the record, the album’s production adds its own positive to the record’s whole. What audiences will appreciate about the record’s production is the DIY approach that was obviously taken with said work. The sound is largely clear, but at the same time, in listening to the mix of front man Ethan Jackson’s vocals, the trash can sounding snare of drummer Jordan Cavalris — that snare drum sound is the only down side to the entire record. It sounds just like the equally horrible snare that Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich used in that band’s now infamous album St. Anger – the double guitar attack of Mark Greene and Garian Perry and even the keyboards and strings, that less than perfect overall sound adds a certain special touch to the album. ‘Under The Sun’ is one of those moments when the garage style production is evident. The general effect from the production here lends itself to comparisons to the production of Metallica’s – not to intentionally bring up that band again – debut album Kill ‘Em All and one of Iron Maiden’s early albums. Much the same can be said of the production at the heart of ‘Nous Sommes.’ That is another clear example of the old school approach even taken here even though this is a 21st century band. Audiences get even more of that minimalist recording approach in the album’s closer, which adds even more to the general effect for listeners. Between these songs and the production used in the album’s other works, the overall efforts put into the album’s production paid off and makes the album that much more appealing to old school metal fans. It’s just one more way in which Solar Flare stands out. The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to the presentation.
As already noted, Solar Flare starts on a strong note in ‘Medieval.’ From there, the album’s energy never really is depleted at any point. It changes slightly as the songs move in different directions from one to the next, but even when the energies do pull back, that reservation is only temporary, as it doesn’t take any of the songs very long to pick back up. In other words, from start to finish, the record maintains its energy. That is even as the songs make the slightest change in stylistic approaches. That stability in the record’s energy even as the arrangements change style adds that much more engagement and entertainment for audiences. When this aspect is considered along with the record’s arrangements and the album’s sequencing, the elements collectively make Solar Flare a record that might not make a major impact on the music industry, but is still a start that gives the band hope for the future.
Solar Flare’s forthcoming self-titled debut album is a positive start for the independent rock band. That is proven in part through the arrangements that make up the record’s body. They lend themselves to comparisons to works from some of the most respected names in the history of rock and metal. The production of said songs gives audiences just as much of an old school experience as the arrangements. The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation, ensuring its energies never falter at any point. All three elements are key in their own way to the whole of this record. All things considered, they make Solar Flare a work that gives hope for the future for its namesake. More information on Solar Flare is available along with all of Solar Flare’s latest news at:
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