Album Review: Solemnity - Through Endless Darkness
Reviewed by Gareth Pugh
If you like your death metal to have a bit of class, you might want to check out this five track E.P. from Birmingham three piece Solemnity.
'Through Endless Darkness' comprises five tracks, three main songs, an intro and another interlude/instrumental. Starting with the beautifully orchestrated 'Invierno', it builds from tender ambience into a majestic string section, from which a huge chord progression lays the foundations for some haunting guitar melodies, while all the while the orchestra builds behind it, a truly epic start. This leads directly into 'Pray for the Light' a solid mid-paced track, again using simple yet exceptionally effective guitar melodies to provide the main structure, the orchestra makes another appearance, but is used to compliment the song, not overwhelm, and the beautiful outro is extremely well done. 'So it Ends' ups the tempo a little bit, again the band use the classical instrumentation to augment the song to another level.
The final two tracks. 'Prelude to…' and 'Our Demise', although listed separately from each other, they combine to form one long 10 minute plus epic. 'Prelude to…' is a slow burning melodic instrumental that fantastically sets-up 'Our Demise' the most adventurous track here, with an impressive arrangement and a scope to be commended. Again, punchy riffs and guitar melodies sit comfortably beside the strings and brass sections, the band aren’t afraid to play with tempo changes, speeding up or slowing to an almost stop depending on what the song requires.
The production is also top notch, the guitars, bass and drums are all well balanced in the mix, together with the orchestration, you never get the impression that one part is fighting against the other, a great job. The vocals are very low, almost guttural, but suit the music perfectly. This is certainly worth 25 minutes of anyone’s time, especially if you like the melodic majesty of bands such as Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride, Solemnity are cut from a similar cloth, but with enough personality of their own to stand on its own feet.