|Review: In Solitude - In Solitude|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: July 12, 2011
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (20 Votes)
It seems like the best heavy metal worships at the throne of Satan these days. In Solitude is a Swedish band pumping out some seriously retro heavy metal, complete with lyrics that command you to go out and slaughter a goat or two, all while becoming educated in His dark ways...it's downright diabolical when you get down to it. Maybe the fundamentalists were right and the Devil really is the key to making awesome heavy metal music.
Either way, In Solitude's eponymous debut is one hell of a cool little album. This is so old school; it might as well be primordial ooze. Thick, chunky Sabbathine riffing is alchemically combined with Mercyful Fate-style leads, deep, fuzzed out vocal ramblings and arcane, mystical lyrics that are pretty much too cool to be true. This album is just a seriously cool trip into what true heavy metal is really all about. There's really nothing at all modern about this – it could have been released back in '86 or '88.
The focus here is on the riffs, which never stop chugging away. Pure true metal glory is what you will find here – from the opening blast of "In the Darkness" to the power metal glory of "Witches Sabbath" and the rocking dirge of "7th Ghost," every song here offers up a virtual buffet of classic riffing. "Kathedral" is super-cool Mercyful Fate worship, "Beyond is Where I Learn" is a fiery mini-epic, "Temple of the Unknown" rocks out with some serious Maiden-style galloping...man, every song on here is cool. They all have good parts to them, and they will all get your head flailing.
The vocals are a low, bluesy moan, and my only real caveat with them is that half the time I can't understand a word he's saying – his voice alone is excellent, but I think he could probably bring out even more in his performance if he'd enunciate a little more and maybe put some more work into some of the vocal lines. They are sometimes infectious but also a bit lazy sounding at points. But I can't deny that he works for this sound, and he never really detracts from the listening experience. The bass and drums both back up the sound with gusto and style. Awesome.
This album is really a gem. It's not perfect, as it does tend to run together even despite the various influences on every song, but at least the sound is one where you don't necessarily mind the running-together. In Solitude have a new one out now, and I can only hope it's every bit as cool as this, if not better. Highly recommended for old school metal junkies.
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