Sonic Debris - Velvet Thorns

Year of Release: 2000
Label: DVS Records
Catalog Number: DVS001
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:18:00

Some might recall me raving over Sonic Debris' last demo, Brave New World. Now they are finally here with their first full-blown CD. Besides having a special place in the band's hearts, this CD also has some kind of historical significance, as it is the first album to be released on the brand new Dutch label DVS Records.

Knowing most of the material from their demos and hearing the new CD, it is clear to me that the 2000/01 version of Sonic Debris is now a more mature, focused, and ambitious band. All songs have been really well worked through and the band seems to be chock-full of ideas. The old songs from the demos are almost unrecognizable, so there is no doubt the band has put their minds and souls into this final product. Categorising this band is not the easiest task but imagine, if possible, some kind of prog rock/metal disguised in a veil of modern, slightly commercially styled rock. I'd say that if prog rock/metal should ever hit big or the mainstream masses, this is what it would sound like!

Since the demos, the guitars are cranked up quite a lot, actually giving the music some serious punch, groove, and attitude. I simply can't resist those heavy staccato chords. The guitars are complemented by very cool and interesting keyboards and the rest of the rhythm section is equally present, delivering a stellar performance. Rune Sørheims has a smooth and comfortable voice, and although he doesn't posses the widest range, he certainly compensates with insight and feeling. The original feeling of the backing choir is also worth mentioning. Overall, the songs are of very high quality, yet "Kiss & Kill," "Dead Man," "Velvet Thorns" and "New Horizon" are immediate favourites. The production is very impressive, keeping in mind the low budget.

It is hard to compare their sound to other bands as Sonic Debris definitely have their own thing going. I've seen people drawing references to Dream Theater, Soundgarden, Shadowland, U2, Faith No More, King Crimson, Simple Minds, and even Saigon Kick. I also hear some Threshold-like harmonies from time to time. The abovementioned references can certainly be justified, but it can also scare prog metal/rock fans off. They should fear nothing. If you are a prog rock/metal fan chances are you will absolutely adore this album.

There is still room for improvement in the songwriting department, but they score high on originality. Sonic Debris is a breath of fresh air to the prog rock/metal scene and goes to show that there is room for originality and creativity within the genre. If there is any justice in this world the band will hopefully get the recognition they deserve.

Note: Be sure to check out the fantastic artwork/booklet by Mattias Norén.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Kiss And Kill (5:07) / Snowflake (5:30) / Dead Man (5:13) / Velvet Thorns (4:49) / Virtual Steps (3:17) / Bustale (4:12) / New Horizon (3:35) / New Angel (3:25) / New Narrow Needle Groove (3:44) / My Aching Pain (7:19)

Rune Sorheim - vocals
Tommy Nilsen - guitars
Per M Bergseth - drums
Knut Bergaust - bass
Jan P Ringvold - keyboards

Beside Me (demo)
Blindfold (demo)
Brave New World (demo) (1999)
Velvet Thorns (2000)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NO

Added: February 20th 2005
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Hits: 913
Language: english


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