Sollertia – Light

From another of those European labels with sparse but always quality releases, as the French Apathia Records, comes the debut of Sollertia, entitled Light. The duo is composed by the French VoA VoXyD (with a past in the gothic Ad Inferna), who deals entirely with the musical and compositional part, and the better known James Fogarty, British vocalist also known as Mr.Fog, currently holding the role in the great In The Woods, as well as holder of the solo project Ewigkeit. Despite some clues coming from the past of the two musicians can make him think, in reality the sound of Sollertia is extreme only in a few moments (The Devil Seethe), going instead to place itself in an area that could be defined, broadly speaking, under the sphere of influence of Katatonia, and however going to embrace the different nuances that branch off from that musical field full of talented realities and in which we can include, with all the distinctions of the case, even Anathema and Antimatter. In fact, in a manner akin to the bands mentioned, Light offers a series of songs mostly wrapped by melancholic lines, although Sollertia put us of them a progressive propensity and a considerable load of tension that pervades the disc for the entire development. The eleven tracks unfold, so, always in a convincing way, thanks to a clean sound aimed to tickle with good continuity the emotional sphere of the listener, to which contribute in a decisive way both the vocal interpretation of great thickness by Fogarty (assisted in three tracks by the guest Vanja Obscure), and the splendid guitar work of VoA VoXyD; I do not think I’m exaggerating by calling Light one of the best albums released so far in 2017, thanks to a sound that, despite appearing at times usable, contextually enjoys a great depth. Here the light evoked by the title is actually the one that, in the cover, makes its way through the clouds and fog: something soft and suffused that preludes to a darkness never quite absolute, resulting from a lyrical and musical sensitivity that takes on a cosmic feeling in its highest moments (the wonderful Pascal’s Wager, Enter The Light Eternal, Praying At The Chapel Perilous, Mathematical Universe Hypothesis and Sisyphean Cycle). Sollertia hit the mark at the first shot, releasing an album of rare beauty and intensity and that has the freshness of a progressive approach combined with a sorrowful gait akin to the impact of the most melodic doom: hard to ask for better work that, for its value, is placed at least at the height of the latest releases of the mentioned bands of reference.

2017 – Apathia Records