Sonic Desolution

Label: GMR Music
Three similar bands: Flower Kings/Kaipa/Genesis

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Explorer
2. The Waltz
3. Eye To Eye
4. Midlife Insight
5. Fair Warning
6. New Beginning
7. Tranquilandia
8. 21g

Jan Johansen – Vocals
Annica Svensson – Vocals
Mads Clausen – Vocals
Morgan Ågren – Drums
Ken Sandin – Bass
Magnus Berglund – Guitars
Peter Lazar – Guitars



Written by Peter Lazar, Daniel Gustafsson and Ken Sandin
Produced by Sonic Desolution
Mix and mastering by Andy La Rocque

Released 2021-04-30
Reviewed 2021-07-21


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The debut album by Sonic Desolution called Explorer certainly looks exciting, the cover art is excellent. They have enlisted Jan Johansen a well-known Swedish singer for vocals. They have additional vocalists as well, and they have skilled musicians that have been heard with some other great names. In the press material I read that it is for fans of Kaipa, Flower Kings and Genesis, the two former have been favourably reviewed by us here at Hallowed. But what about Sonic Desolution, they seem to have built a band that can bring forth expectations, but do they live up to such expectations?

In a way I think a little of Kaipa when I listen to this album, how they balance with female vocals to create atmosphere, the calmer and very melodic tracks. The thing is though that Kaipa has more dynamic sound and probably also a more creative tune to their style, I think Explorer is a pretty static album where very little happens over the right tracks. Eight slow tracks, I think one wouldn’t need to be surprised to feel that the album is a bit on the longer side – I know I thought that. Sure, you will notice new angles, new things each time you hear it but, the nuances are not really there in the bigger picture and the album as a whole seems to be quite static with very little progression from start to finish.

Explorer is an album of a style I enjoy quite a lot, they have good singer, good musicians, they have everything going for them. The problem is that they haven’t written songs that are good enough and therefore it isn’t particularly enjoyable to listen to this album. In a way I think it stylewise can be compared with the likes of Keyholder by Kaipa, but it is nowhere near that when it comes to the quality of the songs, you can of course compare it to other progressive rock albums as well, but it doesn’t compare favourably to many of them. I already have a decent collection of progessive rock, and don’t really see any room for it in that same collection – sure, with that cover it would look good in the collection, but it wouldn’t be there for the great music.

I find Explorer to be quite unsatisfactory, there is no life or energy in the songs. I feel like they only go for slow songs and that makes it 54 minutes of waiting for it to end, rather than 54 enjoyable minutes. It is an album in a genre that I really like as well, progressive rock is one of my favourite styles, but like any genre there is a lot of noise to overcome and unfortunately for Sonic Desolution they drown in that noise, It is not a bad album we get here but they need to do a lot better if they want to make an impression.