25 Nov 2021 - Wouter
Instrumental Post-Rock | Release date: 29 Oct 2021
Those that treat themselves to a heavy dose of early pg.lost releases every once in a while should be excited, as Enfold is very much a record that has that same feel and can easily be added to the mix. Soars is the solo project of Kristian Karlsson, most well known for writing and producing for Cult of Luna and pg.lost. Enfold is his first solo release under the name Soars. A record that is driven by bass and low register synths, sprinkled with great melodies and that characteristic vocal sound that most people will associate with early pg.lost.
Enfold, which is on the shorter side of music with 36 minutes and 32 seconds, starts off with the track that lends the album its title. It does a great job of setting the tone of what to expect. Soars takes the time to create an inviting atmosphere with a simple chord pattern on guitar, supported by low end keys that also add an inviting melody. It sort of primes the brain for what is to come. The tempo of the guitar progression picks up and a bass drum on every beat creates a feeling of urgency, of running to catch up on something you don’t want to miss. Heavy samples that almost feel syncopated add climax to the track as it abruptly stops and transitioning into the second track The Heist.
To me, The Heist could almost have been on Key, a pg.lost release from way back in 2012. The track hits you with a strong key driven riff and follows it up with punching inert feeling but powerful guitars, before bringing back the key melody as an extra layer. Just like the bass parts in most pg.lost songs, the bass guitar adds melody as well as supplying massive low end. The effect-saturated vocals so omnipresent in early pg.lost releases makes the song feel melancholy and an emotional layer.
The production is impeccable as can be expected. Enfold sounds so clear and distinctive. All the parts blend in perfectly, but are also easily picked out if you want to listen to a specific instrument. From a composition standpoint, most songs build towards a climax after setting the atmosphere early on. Fog is also an example for that: guitars, keys and bass are accompanied by a deconstructed drum beat. The roomy sound of the toms that are introduced really ad to the impact of the melody. Soars really plays around with the tempo of chords progressions, increasing and decreasing the amount of time each chord is played, which is really effective in letting the song tell a story. Fog is a good example of these variations in tempo of the chord progression and ends on a more ambient note, giving space to the melody and dragging it out and giving some room for added vocals.
”Haell” is different from the songs before as it is the first song that introduces actual piano in addition to layered synth. The melody on the piano feels like someone having a great conversation and having a back and forth with questions and answers. It is a bombastic song that has so many layers to explore that it is certainly worth a couple of listens.
”Run” was the first single off of Enfold, released in July of 2021, and it is clear why. It has everything Soars does well in a nice 6 minute and 23 second package. A catchy synth melody, heavy bass and crunchy guitar chords topped off with high pitched melancholy vocals. The song breaks open wide and beautifully guides the listener and appeals to the heartstrings. A great song. The album closes out with Torn, an evenly paced song that feels like it’s putting you to bed and recaps some valuable lessons you learned during the day, making sure you remember.
All in all, Enfold is great solo release by a gifted composer and great musician. It is well-crafted, well-produced and, although it is reminiscent of pg.lost particularly, it most certainly is a welcome and quality addition to it.