Altus - Solastalgia

Released: January 22

If I were to try to sum Altus' Solastalgia up into a single word, it would be bittersweet. Everything on this album embodies the word fully, whether it is the heartrending and small melodies that appear throughout or the wistful pads and drones that create the majority of the atmospherics here. The tracks all vary a bit on their content but they all manage to cohesively conveys the attitude of this release - a sense of longing, a wish to avoid the changes in life, and a difficulty in accepting those changes. Through nine stirring and tender pieces, the feeling of desire for a time that is quickly disappearing is exploring in audible detail, bearing the full emotional weight in a way that avoids being overwhelmingly sad in favor of wispy reflection. 

There is a certain progression to the album starting with the opening track, "While the Skies Darken." It's not that it becomes any lighter in tone or subject, rather it approaches its only logical end methodically, accepting the inevitable with all the poise it can. The first track opens us up with deep atmospheric pads and a curious melodic portion that hides in the clouds, peeping out only intermittently. "The Gradual Advance" takes us into a darker path while darkly reverberating pads and a broken piano melody that feels foreboding and incomplete. Reaching the midpoint, we have "Witnessing the Collapse," a track that feels much less dark than you might expect. Instead, the track conveys a sense of gentle resignation, as if whatever is happening is beyond anyone's control and we must just accept our fate.  

The album concludes with two tracks that carry on the air of resignation - "Waning Landscapes" and "When the Tides Took Us." The first of these two gives a sense of rise and fall with pads slowly swelling up into huge mountains of sound only to dissipate like vapor. The implication feels to be something like watching the world shift so dramatically that it causes inaction - a lack of any ability to move or adapt quickly enough for the shifts. "The second of these tracks ramp up the dramatic air with lush string sections that carry us into a cinematic turmoil that crescendos at the very end and then leaves us on the softest of keys as we try to process what all just happened. It is a fantastic experience and one that lingers after the final note with a sense of reflection and contemplation of how exactly we are supposed to move on from the dramatic shifts in life. 


  1. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt reaction to the album, Lars. Your interpretation is spot-on for what I was trying to achieve, so to have someone "get it" is gratifying. ❤️


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