October 10, 2019

…this album is definitely, almost defiantly, grandiose in its scope and range

Salutogenesis is the debut album from Germany’s Soulsplitter, who’re an arts and music community as opposed to a band.  There may be only four people in the actual band but, in the three year gestation period for this album, around fifty people were involved in the making and recording of it. Says Drum man Felix Gayed, “The creation of Salutogenesis was something I dreamed of all through my teenage years, a band which crossed borders between genres, art forms and people, and after years of hard work, we now stand on the brink of releasing our baby.”

   Salutogenesis consists of eight songs and, while each piece of music can stand alone in its own right, the album tells a story involving tales of love, death, meaning and self-awareness.

 If you like your music laden with bombast, attitude and with some occasional overkill, you’re in the right place. Inspired by ’70s prog rock, and with more than a glancing nod towards several contemporary prog bands, and with elements of soft rock and jazz fusion also included in the mix, this album is definitely, almost defiantly, grandiose in its scope and range. It’s an album which doesn’t lack for ambition and very likely the only difference between Soulsplitter and Queen is the latter’s music is more commercially oriented. This is largely an instrumental album, interspersed with the occasional vocal interlude, and with the length of certain passages, they’re probably guilty of overdoing things in some places but, hey, what is prog if you can’t stretch out occasionally and go for it ?

  Salutogenesis begins with The Prophecy, a short violin piece and then a recited verse exuding a sense of the dramatic before the heavy riffs and crashing drums of The Transition changes the mood altogether. All the way through to closing track The Sacrifice, the pattern remains the same, with several lengthy tracks incorporating a mix of styles, from fast Dream Theater type riffing on tracks like The Dream, to slower rock tracks like Eye of the Cyclone, and all performed with sublime instrumentation.

  At certain points during this album, though, the thought ‘I wonder what this album would sound like if a progmeister like Arjen Lucassen got his hands on it ?’ kept occurring to me. I suspect he’d cut down the length of some of the tracks and make quite a concept out of an album which, in many places, sounds like it could be the soundtrack for a gothic horror film.  But, whatever, Soulsplitter are to be congratulated for their spirit of adventure in putting together what is ultimately a fine piece of work.