Thursday, June 27, 2013

... SOLOTHUS "Summoned from the Void" (Album Review)

After their promising debut demo "Ritual of the Horned Skull", Finnish band SOLOTHUS didn't hurry things up, the  guys wisely took more than one year and a half to work on their identity and simply improve as a collective... and the result is a pretty exciting death/doom 1st album ! not the kind of lame atmospheric stuff with omnipresent keyboards or another clone influenced by the big three from UK; no no no,  this is ultimately some crushingly slow and ominous soundscapes that are waiting for you here !

In a genre that often seems to have revealed its whole essence for a long long time, the comparison to Hooded Menace naturally comes to mind; indeed the suffocating and crushing somberness of the music and the kind of hopeless diatribes Solothus likes to get into-  irremediably remind their fellow countrymen. On the other hand the approach is a bit different, the horror  moody samples and atmospheres are H.D. mark where Solothus is substantially more melodic and epic.

If you're looking for progressive fluctuations, maybe you'll pass your way but nothing is monotonous here and in fact this doesn't prevent at all to enjoy variable atmospheres and more dynamic parts like on "Plaguewing" and "Magus of Doom" whose tempos are gradually up-beated  thanx to the extended average length of the songs (from 7 to 11 minutes for the last one). Don't expect blastbeats though but here the tone gets consistently nasty and shreding with more cavernous and tortured like vocals, those being slightly more harmonized with the overall, something that was lacking on the demo but now even if they're still prominent, those growls don't sound too typical anymore, being to my ears more wicked and cryptic than before. 

This "Magus of Doom" is certainly my fave song with those guitars à la Candlemass/Solitude Aeturnus - could it be with stunning melodic rythmics or twirling leads, both guitarists know what epic Doom Metal means and this is here the main quality of the band : they manage to find the right balance between the thrills and creepiness of early 90's death/doom metal and the chills of epic Doom Metal !!! And this makes this album highly recommendable to fans of Esoteric, Coffins, early Cathedral, Runemagick and obviously H.M. who aren't afraid of subtle introductions of doomy and epic melodies!!!

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