Wednesday 20 October 2021

Blackfold - Solarus (EP Review)

Release Date: October 22nd 2021. Record Label: Trepanation Recordings. Format: CD/DD/Cassette

Solarus  - Tracklisting

1.Solarus - Part I 37:09

2.Solarus - Part II

3.Solarus (FULL)


Isaac J. Dean - Everything


Patience is key for Blackfold debut release Solarus. Comprising elements of Drone, Doom, Sludge, Psych, Post-Rock and Post-Metal for a dark and daring journey into the realm of Instrumental Rock/Metal. Everything is performed by Isaac J. Dean who is influenced by Bongripper, Conan, Sunn O))), BORIS and even Slomatics.

Solarus is described as an EP but one that runs for almost 70 minutes with both tracks running over 37 minutes and 32 minutes in length. The EP builds up slowly adding different layers of Post-Rock/Post-Metal flavours before expanding further into heavy distorted grooves of Doom and Sludge Metal. The cold desolate sound comes from the Industrial Drone stylings that bring a more uneasy feeling to everything.

Things do take time for ideas to fully form and come to fruition but Isaac is a fantastic musician where he brings his many different musical influences to the forefront of Blackfold. This is a bleak record and the only uplifting sounds come from the quieter Ambient Post-Rock sounds that briefly appear from time to time.

I was surprised to see that this EP does have some great riffs along the way. More drone based but they’re leading the way on some parts of the EP. The Psychedelic twinges heard on Solarus Part 1 bring a more caustic approach but the nightmarish drone aspects remind me of Author & Punisher jamming with Slomatics. Weird description I know but it’s the feeling I get for a certain part of the song before the EP changes to a more gloomier and depressing Sludge Metal vibe.

This is a different style of Drone based Instrumental Doom/Sludge Metal with Isaac actually having some really great ideas of his own that I’ve never heard before. There are some parts where I wish there were vocals just to bring the whole thing to life but then a heavy riff comes out of nowhere that makes me forget for thinking about stupid ideas like that.

Solarus should be heard as one continuous track. As it’s a more powerful release that way though the best parts of the EP are most definitely within Solarus Part 2. The production is first rate and you can hear and feel every note played with conviction and this allows Solarus to be an amazing audio experience to listen to. 

This is a powerhouse of a release and if you have the patience to last the full endurance course of 70 minutes then you may be rewarded with one of the best Instrumental Doom/Sludge Metal releases of the year. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Blackfold and Trepanation Recordings for the promo. 

Solarus will be available to buy on digital download and limited edition CD (limited to 50 copies) and cassette (limited to 20 copies. 

You can pre-order your copy here: