Perhaps I am wrong but, in spite of most of the reviews I have read about Inner Resonance, I don't consider "Solar voices" a progressive metal CD. Although lots of magazines and webzines label a band as metal prog because the voice has similarity with the 80´s metal singers and because there is a connection point in a couple of songs with the most melodic Queensrÿche, I find it quite far from the reality.
The duo (now there are four members) who recorded "Solar Voices" is formed by Jeffrey Ryan Smoots (guitars, keyboards, bass, drums) and Peter Orullian (vocals). Jeffrey doesn't fail with any instrument and Peter is a quite good singer, although he owns that voice typically 80´s that reminds 25% to Bruce Dickinson, other 25% to Dennis deYoung and 50% to Geoff Tate. Listening to his voice, you can notice that he is a very academic singer with a voice you could love or hate.
I won´t talk about the band´s history because you have an interview with Inner Resonance at progVisions interviews section. About the music, we could label it under metal progressive file if we tinge the term. "Solar voices" is a powerful CD but not a metallic one. With a clean and shiny production, none of the songs included could be classified as metal prog if we exclude Peter´s voice and brief moments here and there with excess of decibels. I.R.´s music is close to early ´srÿche in songs as "Icarus" (3:31), "Winter´s dawn" (5:09), or the nice ballad "Ember", similar to "Silent Lucidity", but with a personal feeling thanks to a wise utilization of the technology and the keyboards. In fact, you could compare them to Rush ("Hold your fire") in the amazing "One more summer", a song with great changes of rhythm and good instrumental skill. This song is very catchy but it doesn´t sound as something previously heard; in the impressive instrumental track "Wanderlust" (3:54), one of the best songs of the CD; or in the versatile "Broken stone" (6:59). More mainstream sound songs such as "Solar wind" (5:01) -close to Maiden´s sound because of the doubled guitars -; "Desire to believe", in spite of having an interesting ending part; or the unimportant ballad "Open eyes" (4:13). An honorary mention deserves "The drum" (9:58), a song in which both musicians give their best composing and performing an unclassifiable track. I never get tired listening to this song.
In short, although I think that I.R.´s music can be enjoyed by progheads fans of bands such as Shadow Gallery or Leger of Main, this music can also be enjoyed by those who love other assimilable progressive tendencies as neoprog or Rush 80´s. A promising debut and I anxiously wait for a second CD performed by the new quartet line up.