This album was always going to be an interesting proposition. The brainchild of ex-Mayhem axe-slinger Rune ‘Blasphemer’ Eriksen – who also has Aura Noir, Twilight Of The Gods and Nader Sadek on his CV – it gathers a well-travelled group of musicians for a debut that is a world away from the black missives Eriksen is known for. Enlisting Messenger’s Daniel Knight on keyboards and Ava Inferni songstress Carmen Simões on vocals, Vol. 1: Solar is an enigmatic slice of progressive occult rock cast between the pillars of Ghost and Opeth. For those punters who appreciate the songcraft that goes into engineering such a feat, credit is due to Eriksen and co, with the aid of acclaimed producer Jaime Gomez Arellano, for pulling off a brilliant slab of complex, credible prog. The syncopated rhythms of The Endless Road underpin an eerie sense of nostalgia that’s captured with the ever-proggy Hammond and there’s room for uptempo malevolence on Mountains And Conquerors while the title track confirms Eriksen’s musical nous as a composer and a guitar wizard.