Solar Halos' Solar Halos | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It
Solar Halos gets detailed treatment from producer Nick Petersen at Chapel Hill's Revival Music Recording Studios

Solar Halos' Solar Halos 

In October 2012, the new trio Solar Halos released a short set of rough, promising demos online, quickly earning favorable attention locally and beyond. The trio's bona fides—area veterans of Horseback, Fin Fang Foom, Bellafea, Caltrop and the Curtains of Night—didn't hurt, but the band's distinct approach to heavy music helped more.

"We talked about wanting to be heavy, but not necessarily aggressive," frontwoman Nora Rogers told the British magazine Rock-A-Rolla. "The band had to be something we could use to explore, not a path to follow."

With the release of a proper debut LP, Solar Halos capitalizes on that quest. Rogers swaps the charred, shrieking doom of her time in Curtains of Night for a more deliberate, melodic approach to riffs and vocals. The moody throb that bassist Eddie Sanchez supplied Fin Fang Foom is even stronger here, giving Solar Halos a strong undertow that complements the heavy swing of John Crouch's blues-metal drumming.

This stuff's not without metal referents, but the signposts point toward the genre's boundaries: Pallbearer's downcast ballads, Om's mantra-metal, even Wolves In The Throne Room's neo-pagan roar. But there's little darkness to Solar Halos, despite the doom tag that often follows them. Instead, the surging melodies and thematic uplift feel more like a naturalist hymnal, fitting for a band named for a surreal natural phenomenon. This is less like metal than alchemy.

Though Solar Halos is essentially a rerecorded demo with two new songs, the reprises aren't redundant. Where the demo was self-recorded in a Chapel Hill industrial shop, the LP received a more detailed treatment from producer Nick Petersen at Chapel Hill's Revival Music Recording Studios. The extra attention showcases cleaner tones and a tighter performance, virtues that only help reveal Solar Halos' not-exactly-metal foundations.

Label: Devouter Records

This article appeared in print with the headline "Histories and Frontiers."

  • Solar Halos gets detailed treatment from producer Nick Petersen at Chapel Hill's Revival Music Recording Studios

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review

More by Bryan C. Reed

Latest videos from the INDY

Twitter Activity

Comments

"this band is only six years old" - that seems like quite an achievement to me - creating, playing, living, …

by cutty on Record review: Mandolin Orange's conservative Such Jubilee (Record Review)

I am baffled as are the other commenters here. When I heard Rhiannon for the first time three weeks ago …

by Mark Ragan on Record review: Rhiannon Giddens' Tomorrow is my turn (Record Review)

© 2015 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation