|This is the new studio album of the Texas Doom Metallers Solitude Aeturnus. Their last studio album entitled 'Adagio' was released eight years ago and since then they were in total silence. It is a fact that many things have changed during all this time, in that the band had gone through some really difficult times. But, they have managed to remain alive and kicking and have finally offered to us their long waited sixth album. Nine new tracks are included on the new album plus a bonus track in its limited digipack edition. So let's make a reference to each song:|
'Scent of Death' is the first track of the record and it is simply a Doom Metal anthem, one of the most epic, dark and mysterious compositions that the band has ever written. This song is simply the ideal choice to be the album's opening track. The trademarks of the song are of course the crystal clear vocals of Robert Lowe and the great twin guitar job of both John Perez and Steve Mosley: nothing more and nothing less than magnificent and dark main riffs and leads based in eastern musical forms. Mentioning the vocals of Robert Lowe, I have to point out that they sound in perfect condition and form, much better comparing with the vocals of 'Adagio' back in 1998.
'Waiting for the Light' is not that slow (compared to the previous anthem), it is in mid tempo featuring for one more time, some magnificent riffs and lead themes. The dramatic epilogue of the song is of course its stronger element. Robert Lowe's vocals are drawing black soundscapes, creating a dramatic epilogue as the song gets slower and slower...
If someone had caught the band on stage in their recent shows in Europe, where they played three songs from the new album, or have downloaded the demo version of 'Waiting for the Light' that was available for some time online, then 'Blessed Be the Dead' is actually the first "new" Solitude Aeturnus song to hear: a gloomy track, covered by a strange melodic mist. You would get into the background of the song even from the very first tune. The lead guitar themes and once again the vocals are the strongest elements in here.
'Sightless' is the faster song of the album. Built in an almost Power Metal basis, this song is the ideal choice for someone that is not aware of those Texas Doom Metal Gods' music. It is almost sure that if the DJ of your favourite metal club decides to play a track from 'Alone', this track would be 'Sightless'. An ideal song for live shows as well ('Scent of Death', 'Waiting for the Light', and 'Sightless' were the three songs the band have performed live in their recent European shows in April 2006 - long before the album was even recorded and released). Back to the song description, it is catchy and memorable, featuring a heavy as hell rhythm section. The same goes for all the songs of the album, but the rhythm parts of 'Sightless' are really strong. Mr. Lowe sounds even more obscure and angry in here... Great tune for sure.
'Upon Within' follows, and our journey to the strange, dark world of the new Solitude Aeturnus album goes on, deeper and deeper into the sorrowful vortex of Doom Metal; we are slowly 'Burning' and we like it. Yes 'Burning' is the title of the next song based on a strange, obscure and heavy background of black melodies; for sure songs like this are difficult to describe using typical words. Even the order of the songs on the album has a specific meaning; they have been put in a certain order to give the listener the feeling of a unique journey with its strong and calmer moments. Yes, this journey still goes on, and as I was hearing the next song entitled 'Is There', I got the feeling that the listener is driven slowly into a musical crescendo... Well, I was right...
'Tomorrows Dead' would drive the listener to a total catharsis. The mourn of the damned that begs for a little more piece of life is trapped in the haunted melodies of this anthem. Just listen to the way that Robert Lowe SINGS in here and you would understand what I mean. 'Essence of Black' is the ideal epilogue of this record, slow and painful melodies are driving the listener to the end of this journey, in a strange gloomy way.
The limited digipack edition of the album includes a bonus track entitled 'Embraced': a 10 minute long Doom Metal song with a little old fashioned touch in it and an obscure felling in the vocals.
A word must be written about the great front cover and the artwork of the album that fits perfectly with the general mood of the music.
A masterpiece: that is the new Solitude Aeturnus album. The vocals of Robert Lowe, the guitars of John Perez and Steve Mosley, the rhythm section of James Martin (bass) and Steve Nichols (drums), everything is a strong piece for a perfect Doom Metal puzzle, the puzzle of 'Alone'. This album is the strongest proof that mournful Epic Doom Metal is still alive and has great pieces of art to offer. Mentioning the production of the album I must point out that 'Alone' is very well produced and it is for sure the best Solitude Aeturnus album as far as sound quality and production. As far as the music, which is of course the most important thing in here, I would simply put this record next to the other classic releases of the band. In my opinion, 'Alone' is one of the stronger and most inspired Metal albums released so far during the 00s. It is the mournful anthem of all those who carry the flame of Doom Metal inside their souls. It is the black sun of our eternal midnight. Just listen to this album and you would understand my point...
1. Scent of Death
2. Waiting for the Light
3. Blessed Be the Dead
5. Upon Within
7. Is There
8. Tomorrows Dead
9. Essence of Black
10. Embraced [bonus track]
[edit by admin.: Note that this review is of the digipack edition. The bonus track and the noted length of the album doesn't apply to the regular version.]
Duration : Approx. 71 minutes.
Visit the Solitude Aeturnus bandpage.