Led by visionary musician Trond Engum, composer and guitarist for Norwegian experimental band The 3rd and The Mortal, The Soundbyte is a solo venture intended to pierce the dark heart of avant-garde and experimental metal.
Since their formation in 1998 in Trondheim, Norway, The Soundbyte has become an unstoppable vehicle for creative exploration and one that has found Engum drawing on a myriad of outsider influences ranging from Norwegian folk, electro-acoustic and ambient forms of progressive and post-rock. In collaboration with fellow The 3rd and The Mortal member and accomplished drummer Rune Hoemsnes, in addition to the central line up for Solitary IV – their fourth full-length album and first for new label Temple of Torturous Records – the album also consists of contributions from several excellent guest musicians, including amongst others the expressive vocal styling of singers Tone Åse and Kirsti Huke.
Built almost entirely around Engum’s unique guitar and electronic sound, Hoemsnes’ signature rhythms and haunting and ethereal vocal work The Soundbyte has created what is undoubtedly their finest work to date and 2017’s most progressively breathtaking record. Solidifying the duo’s off-kilter vision for sonic expression and paying painstaking attention to every detail, it is a multifaceted endeavor designed for constant re-visitation and one that will reward listeners time and time again.
Recorded by Engum himself, co-mixed with Michael Tibes (Helloween, Kamelot) and mastered by Neil Pickles (Piano Interrupted, Fernandez 4), Solitary IV by The Soundbyte will be released on 30th June via ToT Records as a deluxe digipack with a limited LP release to follow this Autumn.
What can I say that hasn't been already? An absolute mammoth of an album that's simultaneously forlorn and reassuring. It's certainly not for the faint of heart, but it's one of the most rewarding listens I've had the pleasure of experiencing. zirtonic