Oct 242013

Last week I had the chance to see Sweden’s In Solitude perform in Seattle as support on a tour headlined by Watain (who, by the way, were stunningly good). I was already a fan of the band’s 2013 album Sister, but came away even more impressed because of the high quality of their live show — an experience marred only slightly by the over-the-top “I’m a rock god” posing of the band’s bass player in the spotlight at the center of the stage while the true rock god, vocalist Pelle Åman, positioned himself off to the side, head down, hair covering his face, belting out wailing vocals that were damned near pitch-perfect.

This morning I watched a new video of the band in an unusual setting that captures their skill in the flesh, as well as the brilliance of their songwriting. A Swedish TV channel called PSL journeyed to the band’s hometown of Uppsala last spring to interview the band. While there, In Solitude took the crew to the band’s favorite hometown place, the castle ruin of the bloodthirsty King Erik XIV, who descended into madness before ultimately being deposed and most likely poisoned while in prison. As PSL writes at their online blog:

As the clock struck 12 – exactly 446 years after the king orchestrated a bloodbath in the very room where we stood – the band played us the song ”A Burried Sun” from their latest album ”Sister”.

And that’s what’s captured on the shadow-blanketed video — the potent mix of occult rock, doom, and psychedelia that makes up “A Buried Sun” and the spooky power of Pelle Åman’s voice. It’s very cool, and it’s available for viewing right after the jump (and yes, the music is an Exception to the Rule around here).

  16 Responses to “IN SOLITUDE, IN THE CASTLE”

  1. “the over-the-top “I’m a rock god” posing of the band’s bass player in the spotlight at the center of the stage while the true rock god, vocalist Pelle Åman, positioned himself off to the side, head down, hair covering his face, belting out wailing vocals that were damned near pitch-perfect.”

    There must be some kind of schtick here. At the Minneapolis show, the singer was going his best Iggy Pop impression, shaking his hand wildly and rocking out at center stage. Strange.

    • I don’t mean to suggest that Pelle Åman was stationary — he was moving and headbanging with the rest of the band and doing those hand motions in Seattle, but he was over on the side next to the second guitarist throughout the set, with the bassist nearly dead center under a spotlight. THAT was strange.

      • Excuse me but why would that be strange? They are all equally entitled to do what they want on stage, Pelle has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to be any sort of “frontman” whatsoever, and Gottfrid rocks hard because he can. He is not posing at all it’s just how he lives his music, plain simple. It surely doesn’t effect the performance, on the contrary, it adds to it. For sure one can’t blame him for being so into what he does. Anyway. Amazing video from the Uppsala Castle.

        • Ok, I take your point, and “strange” was not the right word. “Unusual” would have been better. And I suppose it’s refreshing in a way to find a vocalist who doesn’t want to be a “frontman”, but nonetheless I just found the bassist distracting, though I don’t want to make too big a deal of it (as I originally wrote, it marred the experience only slightly).

        • Im sorry..who said they werent entitled to do what they wanted on stage…Did someone jump up there and shut things down until they played the “proper” way?…No?…Okay…then why dont you take it down a notch.

          It is odd for the vocalist to be off to the side while onstage, that generally dosnt happen with most bands, and whether Gottfrid is living the music or not dosnt change the fact that it can come across as distracting for some people

          • If the way a musician plays his music live “comes across distracting” to someone, I think it’s their problem, not his. A whole other story would be someone from the crowd who ruins the show for someone, but when it comes to the performer, what he does is not “distracting”, is part of the live experience itself.

            • P.s. Anyway since you said you don’t want to make it a big deal and I agree, I’ll just switch back on topic, and suggest to watch, in case you haven’t yet, also the other video shot at the Castle, the Cortex cover “Jesus i betong” which I found very well done too: http://blogg.svt.se/psl/2013/10/22/music-with-in-solitude/

            • It may well be the viewers problem, I dont remember claiming otherwise, but once again if someone sees it as distracting..its still distracting. Whether its a part of the live experience is beside the point

              I mean, you do realize someone basically said, “I found this a little bit odd and it kind of drew some of my attention away from the music” and your reply was essentially “No it didnt”

              Now, I wont continue to harp on this point, but I will say that just as the they have every right to do whatever they want on stage, people have every right to interpret those actions as they see fit.

  2. King Erik XIV? Any relation to Professor D. Grover XIII?

  3. /it is worth noting that, from all i’ve gathered, Gottfried is the principal songwriter in the band. As collective as we like to think, let’s be honest, usually it’s one or two folks doing the heavy lifting. If its Gottfried, and he wants the attention for it, so be it.

    • Pelle writes all the lyrics himself but as for the music you’re right it’s most likely Gottfrid the main source.

    • If he’s the principal songwriter, then I agree — he’s earned the right to do what he does because Sisters is a great album. I just assumed that, as in most bands, the bassist isn’t principally responsible for the songwriting.

  4. What about Tribulation? They put out a fanfuckingtastic album this year, I would have been most excited to see them over the other two groups. Alas I was unable to attend the show.

    • I was super-excited to see Tribulation (I’m a big fan), but I and the people I was going with completely fucked up our time management and got there right after their set ended.

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