VIPER SOLFA – Carving an Icon
Coming together in 2013 as a result of ex-Trail of Tears vocalist Ronny Thorsen, Norwegian band Viper Solfa perform in a gothic/extreme metal fusion, a quintet that features the rhythm section from Ronny’s previous band, Dimension F3H guitarist/keyboardist Morfeus, and Ram-Zat female singer Miriam Renvag. Symphonic elements appear for additional support in terms of accentuating buildups and transitions ("Vulture Kingdom" the best example), but for the most part the back and forth match between Ronny and Miriam’s growls and serene vocal deliveries keep things entertaining.
The opener "Deranged" has some odd melodies from the start, the music churning at mid-tempo to blasting measures. Other tracks have a little bit more of a cyber, playful feel amidst the heavy riffing – especially in the drumming choices for "The Toxic Thousands" or the lighting quick changes that occur during "War of Zion" that brings out all the atmospheric, gothic, symphonic, and black influences for Viper Solfa. Overall I’d say the band keep things interesting, but it’s not a style that necessarily enthralls me each and every time I return to it – possibly due to the lack of proper hooks in some of the faster songs.
I suppose the younger generation who seek out extreme metal with gothic nuances will find "Carving an Icon" delightful, but try as I might this will probably be an occasional release in my playlist and not something that gets to the head of the class. Possibly a case of better luck the second time around.