SEEN AND HEARD: SOLIUM FATALIS, SÓLSTAFIR, EYE OF SOLITUDE, DYING OF THE LIGHT
You want something new in your ears? I mean, other than a stranger’s tongue or that bedbug that crawled in there while you were sleeping? Well then, check out this selection of recommended new songs discovered over the last 24 hours.
I found out about this band (whose name means “Fated Throne”) thanks to a tip from my NCS comrade TheMadIsraeli. It’s the brainchild of New Hampshire guitarist Jim Gregory, but it also includes the superb Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork, Scarve, Bent Sea) on drums, Scarve bassist Loic Colin, and Excrecor guitarist/frontman Jeff DeMarco on vocals. Solium Fatalis released their self-titled debut album just days ago, and it features eye-catching cover art by Septic Flesh frontman/bassist Seth Siro Anton.
Two songs from the album are streaming on Bandcamp. I listened to them last night and they’re really good – a dynamic offering of blackened melodic death metal built upon excellent instrumental performances, a voracious vocal turn, and a well-crafted production that gives the music a sharp, heavy sound. Seductive Eastern melodies flow through the stately but savage “Molecular Devices” and the jolting fury of “The 7th Gate”. I don’t know why I haven’t heard more about this album, but I’m definitely going after it now (it’s available on iTunes and Amazon)
And you’re thinking to yourself, Sólstafir? Again? Will these NCS people ever stop writing about them? The answer is “probably not”, but this time the music may surprise you.
People who were turned on to these Icelandic kings of cool via their most recent album Svartir Sandar may not realize that once upon a time Sólstafir were a black metal band. Their 2002 debut album Í Blóði og Anda (“In Blood and Spirit”) went out-of-print almost immediately upon its release, and has been out of circulation ever since. However, it has been remastered, repackaged, and is going to be re-released on November 8, both on vinyl and as a 2-CD offering with previously unreleased material included as a bonus.
Yesterday I heard a track from the album that the band uploaded to Bandcamp. At first, the bouncing acoustic rhythm of “The Underworld Song” sounds like it could be something from a new Sólstafir release, and even the ringing melodic guitars that follow have a kinship to the band’s more recent material. But the vocals are pure shriekville. Still, it’s a damned catchy song, even though it’s definitely more simple and “primitive” than the band’s more recent music. I think I’d like to hear more before deciding whether to plunk down money for the entire album, but I’m certainly interested. Have a listen:
EYE OF SOLITUDE
As previously reported, this UK band is about to release a new album entitled Canto III via Kaotoxin Records (on November 25 in Europe and December 3 in the US). It will include six long tracks that are lyrically based on Dante’s Inferno, with a total run-time of over 66 minutes. We previously streamed a teaser trailer of music from the album, but today New Noise Magazine began streaming something more substantial — a condensed four-minute version of a 10-minute song named “Act II: Where the Descent Began”. It begins as massive, grinding funeral doom, but then moves through an off-planet mid-section of piano and a clean vocal duet and into a finish that’s rapacious orchestral black metal. Not kidding.
The stream isn’t embeddable, so go HERE to listen. Very interesting music.
DYING OF THE LIGHT
Dying of the Light are a two-man outfit from Auckland, New Zealand. Last month they self-released an EP entitled Monolithium via Bandcamp, consisting of three original songs and a cover of a track by another NZ band, Shihad. Last night I checked out their new video for the EP’s title track and came away impressed. What first attracted me to it was this language from an e-mail we received: “The official video is a sci-fi inspired concept clip influenced by the band’s love of post-apocalypse movies such as The Road, the Mad Max trilogy, Book Of Eli, Hardware and New Zealand films The Quiet Earth and the awesome, rare, Battletruck.” The sci-fi nerd in me started getting moist.
The DIY video was shot in the space of 2 days at some dramatic landscapes in and around New Zealand’s central plateau, and the band were also granted rare access to the Rangipo subterranean hydro-power station. The concept is a tale of two travelers in a futuristic desolate wasteland following faint signals that lead them eventually to an underground bunker . . . and a kind of transformation. Cool video.
I liked the song, too. It has a bit of an industrial tone, with a repeating snare beat and heavy, grinding riffs. The semi-clean vocals move from the subdued to the anguished and the caustic. And through the dark, doomed pounding a subtle melody finds its way, and got stuck in my head. Below you can watch the video and stream the EP. Find the band on Facebook via this link.
Nothing and no-one should ever admit to being influenced by The Book of Eli. What a load of codswallop (word of the day).
Eye of Solitude just tore me a new one. I was not ready…
Solium Fatalis is pretty damn cool! NCS turns me on to so much great music so frequently i’m going to have to get a second job to fund my album purchases