ANDSOLIS – Vigil
Heidelberg, Germany may not possess the most well-known melodic, progressive death metal scene, but this seven-piece aim to change the landscape. Andolis (Old Norse for ‘in opposition to the sun’) differ from a lot of their contemporaries in the sense that blistering technicality is not at the forefront of their musical outlook – they prefer to caress and push dynamic landscapes and shape their songwriting because of lighter, deeper textures.
Offering two vocalists of differing clean/ growl variety gives Andsolis a wider open canvas to explore all facets of sound. Check out "Kingdoms Without Shape" for instance as Manuel Siewert and Oliver Kilthau can harmonize and be aggressive from verse to verse, while guitarists Stefan Rosenmayer and Simon Abele interlace their riffing and lead breaks in a stair step, exciting Dream Theater meets Cynic fashion. When things get a little more chaotic such as the follow up track "In Silent Confidence", Andsolis know how to balance out the extreme parts with tender restraint, whether it be through a groove oriented tempo change or something more melodic in transition. Real organ parts also give the songs an older, haunting feel, while the clean vocals are definitely rooted in 70’s progressive rock meets Psychotic Waltz manner.
Influences abound in different directions – it could be Anacrusis one moment in "Days of Receding Light", or Dark Tranquillity meets Voivod for the almost 10 minute opener "Stand Vigil", but one thing is for certain- Andolis is a unique entity that on their debut album "Vigil" should impress all who love the progressive metal genre as much as the melodic death field. Dig deep, grab those headphones and give these 8 songs more than a cursory glance – you’ll be rewarded handsomely for the time you spend on this.