There are four classical elements within nature: Wind, Water, Earth and Fire. Just like these elements bring something of their own to nature, the four members of Solbrud bring something unique and phenomenal to IIII making this band one that has a unique take on creating atmospheres and patterns in their music. Delivering slow moments of tranquility, just to take you into ones full of fiery rage. This is not just an album, it’s an experience and a journey through various and diverse emotions that all come to make this an amazing listen from start to finish.
Solbrud are a Danish band that started in 2009, back then they were called Gargoyle. They have three albums plus a live album that was released in 2021. They also have a different line-up now, as Ole Luk left the band to focus more on his project, Afsky. He did, however, record and write his parts for IIII prior to his departure from the band. They welcomed David Hernan in 2022 as the band’s guitarist and vocalist.
IIII is an album that is split into four parts as this number is a recurring theme in it, where each member wrote his own for each vinyl side, providing their own element to give form to the album.
This is a prime example that Solbrud have a unique way of creating atmospheres with their music. Taking “Hvile”, the first track of the album as an example. It’s a seventeen-minute track, with a very clean and paced start preparing the listener to embark into deep atmospheric soundscapes, creating an orchestra-like build-up reaching heights with its intensity, just to to decrease the speed in moments of it. It’s the longest track of the album, but definitely prepares you for what’s to follow this magnificent start.
“Tåge” gives a sensation of rage, full of raw emotion that definitely brings that fire to it, especially with Ole’s vocals. It provides that fire, part of the four elements that compose this album. This track is brought to a furious end with the riffs and fast-paced drumming that make way to the intense “Når Solen Brydes Del” tracks, four in total. These bring the energy and thunder that make Hvile special, something that commands your attention, awe and adoration.
The rest of the tracks keep bringing that intensity with parts that sound very intricate, skillfully and beautifully made which keep the listener’s attention. This is brought to a halt with “End Ild Som Tusind Sole” and “Aske”, as these two tracks bring the last moments of darkness to the album. “Postludium” brings IIII to a conclusion, a four minute instrumental track that ends it all with a sense of ease and calm.
IIII is an epic hour and a half journey into what Solbrud have made as a band, a beautiful and yet, dark album that allows you to get lost into its soundscapes, creating moments of sudden and comforting calm that are matched with moments of desolation and heaviness. This record is definitely, in my opinion, ready to be crowned as one of the top albums of this year.