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Review: Solstice - New Dark Age
New Dark Age

Label: Misanthropy Records
Year released: 1998
Duration: 66:05
Tracks: 11
Genre: Doom Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: January 12, 2005
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating
New Dark Age

Rated 4.37/5 (87.37%) (57 Votes)

Now this is a band that deserves more press than it gets. Yes this is Doom Metal from the UK. We all know how the British love their doom metal. It must be the depressing weather, because I sure as hell never feel joyful when I'm down there either ;) Anyway, Solstice play epic doom unlike any band I can think of. I can compare them somewhat to Esoteric but even that is kind of stretching it (Esoteric fans know what I mean by "stretching" it ;)). If you enjoy doom metal, give this band a try, they are very arty and slow in their approach. They couple their riffs with a wall of sound effects and traditional folk instruments like flutes etc.

My main problem with this album however is that one has to be in the right mood for this thing. It is very unusual music and there is a lot of emphasis on melancholy and atmosphere. A lot! So this may not be for someone who only has a passing interest in doom metal, because it will bore you. Also worth noting is that this band was not only on the cult and now defunct label Misanthropy (Mayhem, Burzum) but it also consists of band members from While Heaven Wept, The Lord Weird Slough Feg and Twisted Tower Dire; however, Solstice does not really sound like those bands and may not be as good and consistent as them either. Think epic doom that will make Candlemass or Solitude Aeturnus sound like speed metal bands!

I like this album quite a bit, and this is more of an exception in my case than the rule. If you think you cannot tolerate very arty, slow and depressing music, then you are best advised to stay away. If you think you can handle it, you may very well love this album.

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