Following the release of their fifth album, Irradiance, progressive metal songsmiths Canvas Solaris quietly disbanded in 2010. The quartet regrouped in 2014 and began forming compositions that would eventually make up album #6, but various personal roadblocks stalled momentum for more than a year. Activities finally resumed in 2016, and the band completed writing six songs/50 minutes of new material: Chromosphere.
However, due to a combination of logistics, personal obligations, and time constraints, the group took its time to record and mix the tracks at various studios over the course of the three years that followed. Drums were laid down with Jamie King Audio in April of 2017, while guitars and bass were tracked at Chris Rushing’s and Gael Pirlot’s home studios throughout 2018 and 2019. Additional percussion and acoustic guitars were recorded with the help of friend Justin Prevatt in 2019, and programming/synthesizers were largely completed at guitarist Nathan Sapp’s house. Canvas Solaris then returned to the patient and generous Jamie King Audio in the summer of 2019 to commence the mixing process.
Speaking to Chromosphere’s direction, drummer Hunter Ginn states, “When we started down the path of making a new album, Nathan and I knew that we wanted to apply more focus to the songwriting, so we turned to inspiration from late-’80s/early-’90s progressive and technical thrash bands like Toxik, Realm, Watchtower, Mekong Delta, Target, Coroner, Deathrow, Anacrusis, Believer, Obliveon, and Sadus to provide us with a deep reservoir of ideas. Chromosphere doesn’t exactly come across as sounding like those bands, but I would like to think that at least Canvas Solaris shares with them some DNA.”
As the group’s four-album run with the highly respected and prog-minded Sensory record label had come to an amicable conclusion, Canvas Solaris entertained the idea of self-releasing Chromosphere, but ultimately decided otherwise. It was at that point that the band full-circled back to where it all began—as Divebomb’s parent label, Tribunal Records, handled the group’s initial releases in the early-2000s. Ginn reflects, “In the years between our debut full-length, Sublimation, and Chromosphere, Tribunal had launched Divebomb Records, and it only gilded the lily that Divebomb had reissued some of our favorite albums. It really does feel like a homecoming for us. Tribunal Records founder Matt Rudzinski was one of our very earliest supporters, and believed in our music when hardly anyone else did. We’re very grateful for the opportunity to work with him again.”
With Chromosphere, Canvas Solaris has very much succeeded in delivering intricate, high-level progressive metal boasting a finely crafted approach to songwriting that emphasizes movement and atmosphere over endless displays of technical musicianship. Hunter closes with, “I don’t think this is the record that anyone expected us to make. After a 10-year absence, most listeners probably would have bet on a mellower, more cosmic Canvas Solaris album. While Chromosphere has no shortage of cosmic moments, we have never made a more aggressive, determined-sounding album…”
Chromosphere will be released on May 14 via Divebomb Records.
“Zero Point Field”
“Black Drop Effect”
“Black Drop Effect”: