Sunday, 18 November 2012

Solothus - Ritual of the Horned Skull


My next review features Finnish doom/death band Solothus and their three track EP, Ritual of the Horned Skull. Solothus originally formed in 2007 and this was their first demo, released back in 2011 and currently the band are due to record a full length for Spanish label Memento Mori in 2013.

They have a cool touring pedigree too, having already toured Finland with Coffins and Hooded Menace, amongst others.

Tracklist:-

1. Throne of Bones
2. Embrace The Cold
3. Darkness Gathers Here At Night


Initial impressions of this demo are very good. From the slow build of the bass and guitars, which generate an oppressive atmosphere, too the moment the pace switches to a faster approach as those low deathly growls kick in. I've reviewed a few doom/death releases in my time on here and it's a genre I really respect. Solothus have a great sound too them, nicely metallic and majestic. There is something thought that I can't escape from with doom/death bands though. It seems to me that these types of bands favour the death element over the doom element and I'd like to hear some proper funeral doom type stuff once in a while! That said, Throne of Bones is a great opener, proving that Solothus have great quality and can play.

Embrace The Cold brings a new dimension to things, with an almost medieval intro guitar melody. There are some great subtle ideas and textures flowing through their music and it certainly makes you take notice. There are evil undertones but also warmth, thanks in part to the great sound that's been produced during the recording.
I can't believe that Scandinavia keeps on producing bands of this quality, I mean I know that they get grants in some areas to help them start, but there seems to be no end in sight, which is of course great for us fans!

Darkness Gathers Here At Night conjures visions of the band playing in the dead of night, in a graveyard or forest, invoking demons with every riff. It's pretty epic stuff, crawling from the speakers and wrapping its coils around you, threatening to pull you in! I love the leads here too. They sound brilliant and sit in just the right place, at times even lifting the atmosphere. As Ritual of The Horned Skull wraps up with it's final bars, you're left feeling cleansed and empty. The despair ridden music seeps into your pours and threatens you're very existence! This is only a demo, but it's really good. I urge you to invest your time in these guys!

This demo is posted on Solothus's Bandcamp page for free streaming and downloading:-

 

Solothus can be found via their website at http://solothus.com/ and via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Solothus.

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