Thursday, February 08, 2007

top50 - #5

5. solitude aeturnus - 'alone'

Solitude Aeturnus never really went away, but the amount of time since the release of the wonderfully bleak 'Adagio' left the most dedicated fans worrying. The band indeed took a break, but apparently splitting up was never in the cards, which should make any doom fan rejoice. Yet further rejoicing is in order as well, as 'Alone' shows that the time did them well.

Now that vocalist Rob Lowe has been selected as the new voice of Candlemass, and since he will keep his post in Solitude Aeturnus, proper and long overdue attention might start to be directed to this band. Few bands deserve it more - they have long been a steady, strong and reliable pillar of doom metal in particular and metal as a whole. 'Alone' is mesmerizing, right from the start, right before the music, even. Record cover of the year by a wide mile, the Travis Smith artwork describes the music with more accuracy than any reviewer ever will. Just like that tragically beautiful image, 'Alone' is true doom, through and through. It's heavy, it's dense and it's hypnotic.

Rob Lowe is the first and most obvious element of fascination here - he proves (as if any proof was needed if you have heard any of the albums in their discography...) that he's one of the most talented vocalists within any genre with this astounding performance. Both hopeful and hopeless, utterly bleak wails that suddenly break into luscious choruses that let some light in (like on the amazing 'Essence Of Black'), he is a frontman in every sense of the word. John Perez and Steve Moseley are responsible not only for the typically crushing, slow riffs, but also for some extra injections of power in the band's sound - check out the immense 'Sightless' or the frightening 'Burning'. Those songs are also the best example of how to use a rhythm section properly, James Martin's bass and Steve Nichol's drums resonating deeply in your chest. The production is very strong as well, carrying the weight these compositions need faultlessly.

Solitude Aeturnus is a band with very high standards, having maintained consistently high quality ever since their historical debut, so the fact that 'Alone' is their best work ever is even more of a feat. If you have any interest in dark, heavy music, you cannot pass this one up.

song of the day:


  1. I seen their albums, but have never given them a chance. Doom metal has been growing on me and I'd like to explore more of it.

    It sounds like these guys are a good place to start.

  2. Good call, man. I haven't thought of these in quite some time. If you haven't gotten the promo of the new Impious yet, just wait, bro...wowzers.

  3. And doom metal, dpth has become a standard by which I measure a lot of metal these, mostly subconsciously