I find it very inspiring to come across artists who do it all and yet still come up with an unusual, and professional sound. Solemn Golem is a one-man show with the Finnish singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Pyry Urhonen. The artist has a long career in the music industry working with different groups and recently decided to start his band. In no time he started to realize that he doesn’t need additional band members and decided to go solo for the current time. The artist’s style and inspiration come from 90’s post-rock bands like Radiohead, Godspeed, Black Emperor, Mogwai, and Y-O-U. But also, singers and songwriters like Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, and finally classic progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd followed by Genesis and Camel. With all these inspirations the artist came up with his signature style that mixes theatrical elements, a cinematic vibe, unexpected melodic directions, and an undeniable element of surprise.
The artist just dropped his debut 10-song album “CLIMBO”, which is a concept album that interprets loss and having a fresh start, it’s a mix of softness and intensity, calm yet dark. As the artist describes “I wanted to make an album of long expressive takes and lead by a distinct single voice. It’s not just a single-take with no edits by method, but I wanted the core elements to be crude and spontaneous.” Each song in the album is different and has its nature and character, most of them are long and they reach 12 minutes long. Something I’ve noticed while listening to them all is how the piano is a core instrument in the album and how the artist prefers bass sounds and low notes. Most of the melodies are unorthodox and take unexpected turns, even the chord progressions are uncommon in which you will encounter lots of augmented, open, and diminished chords that are so distinguishing in their placement creating a whole new experience and ambiance. Whether the usage of such chords is intentional or not, it sets the music in a completely unexpected and interesting place. The album combines a mix of songs and instrumental tracks that all have the cinematic foundation and the theatrical element in the way the vocal lines are sung and recited.
“Close Your Eyes” is the first track in the album that is entirely instrumental with the piano being the lead and the occasional powerful bass that strikes like a ticking clock as if it’s giving a warning. Moving to “Are We Dreaming?” which is another instrumental track with significant sound effects that sets you in an actual dream with loops and sounds that mix intense dark tunes along with divine and angelic ones, a struggle ongoing throughout the dream until it fades and ends on a happy note. The entire album was produced at the home studio of Pyry where he did everything himself. An album that is worth checking and listening to all because none of the songs repeat or are even alike.