Thursday, 5 May 2011

#047 Solstice - Lamentations

Solstice are a band I'm damn glad to have been recommended. I asked for some atmospheric doom metal, and that is certainly what I got. Lamentations is the bands first full length album, and as pretty impressive, with songs which are memorable from the very first listen, and only get better with return visits to the beautiful soundscape, with one of Britain's best doom-metal exports.

Solstice's sound is immediately edible, for want of a better word. The traditional, doomy riffs, and extremely melancholy, catchy choruses are immediately digestible, and I found myself remembering songs such as "The Man Who Lost the Sun" instantly memorable, after single, even partial listens. The changes in vocal pitch, especially, sound excellent, with almost Asian sounding changes, which, being out-of-the-ordinary, never fail to grab the attention, and reel in the listener, with lyrics which are straightforward but deep, carried by a mournful and beautiful vocal, which stays with you more easily than most I've heard, and create a truly bare bones epic-feel, with only the four "staples" of metal; Guitar, bass, drums and vocals. No synthesisers are used, yet still there is a beauty.

My admiration goes to whoever engineered the album too, as the production values are wonderful to behold. As well as being tight, they are also excellent in showcasing each instrument, none of which obscures the other. Nothing is too high in the mix, nothing too low. Everything is audible, and sounds crisp and enjoyable, all the instruments working well together, instead of clashing. The songs are of very varying length too, which creates an "album for all occasions". There are lovely long epics, short doom-fixes, and even a gorgeous acoustic-ish instrumental, which is absurdly mellowing and soulful.

Once again, I'm a poor critic, and while listening to this, nothing really jumped out at me as being particularly objectionable to me. The songs are all in a very similar style, but I have no complaints about that - it's a style I particularly like. 

This is a fantastic album, I'll give it a 9/10. 

Solstice on Myspace
Solstice on Metal-archives