We are premiering a powerful song in this feature, but we’re also doing much more than that. We’re introducing you to a new band (this is the first of their recorded music to be revealed); we’re presenting the new single’s cover art for the first time; and we’re sharing insights into what inspired the music, and news about what will be coming next.
The band is SOLNEGRE, from the Balearic Islands near the eastern coast of Spain. The band is new, but the members are not newcomers to heavy music. Indeed, the two founders have been bandmates since 1995 and members of the Doom Metal sextet Helevorn. They chose to part ways with that band but quickly re-united in this new project, later joined by two other performers, who also has extensive experience in underground metal.
They have taken their musical inspiration from the old school greats of Doom/Death metal from the ’90s, referring to such bands as My Dying Bride and and early Anathema and Opeth, and more recent comparative references might include the likes of Shape of Despair, Ahab, and Doom Vs.
SOLNEGRE have inked a deal with the Armenian label Funere for the release of their debut album this fall (which includes guest appearances), but in the meantime they will be releasing their first single on April 7th, a song named “Vessel Part I: The Night Within”, and that’s what we’re premiering today through a visualizer video.
By way of further introduction to SOLNEGRE, we’re sharing an extensive statement by one of the SOLNEGRE founders (Gebre), which adds another layer of meaning to the music you’re about to hear:
“To a certain extent, what you are going to experience still feels somewhat alien to me. Whilst I embrace the fact that it’s my creation because I fostered and nurtured Solnegre into existence, there’s definitely a part where I can barely recognize myself. Some say that two entities live inside each one of us, but only one of them has access to communication. The other one lives trapped in an unspeakable agony, in a prison of silence and denial. Solnegre, given the moment and the form on which it manifested, might very well be this second me taking over and speaking out loud.
“We are not new to this. For more than a decade, me and other members of the project were the main composers on a band called Helevorn. We helped creating all the songs that you may know and maybe love, we committed blood and tears to help build everything that might be of worth on that project. We roamed more than a dozen countries, two continents, and got good times and terms with probably the biggest names on the scene. Maybe we even hung out with You and had a beer at some dark venue. But still I was empty and thirsty, something else was boring its way out, breaching my sanity from inside, and on that same painful pinnacle of bipolarity we faced the collapse of the project as well as our friendships, as entropy, as inevitable it was, did its job well throughout the years.
“It was during these turbulent times, on the highest peak of this brutal journey of victimization, when the burden of guilt was supreme, that enlightenment began to take over. First a casual glimpse of light, a dim Star, a rip in the darkest fabric of the shroud. Suddenly all was clear. This spiral-like path was quietly settling things up by itself, washing away the guilt and the anxiety, making this and all the other songs not to be composed – but emerged from somewhere darker and colder, sharp, beautiful and fragile as an obsidian knife.
“There will be much more in the future, as the channeling is now fully open. But you’ll never see us play live or on tour. Solnegre is the celebration of something reached from somewhere else and reminds me of my own past aspirational (and rather irrational) path as a pro musician and composer. No happy gigs, posey “tour starts” photos on random airports and fun on the Van, no jokes about gear or chicks. I wish nothing but to share with you the emergence of this dreadful darkness and celebrate the existence of this second me, that probably, only probably, was the last grip before insanity.
“Finally, I also want to cheer for my bandmates, as this is not a solo project as it might seem. They all heard the call, stood on point and delivered their utmost skill, talent and availability to make this happen. Not only are they absolute masters of their own arts, but it’s also worth mentioning that without their wise advice, their temperance and their mindset to do whatever it takes to deliver, this effort would have been futile.
“Now that all the premises are set, I really hope you enjoy”.
And now we come to the song itself, “Vessel Part I: The Night Within”.
The long track unfolds over more than 11 1/2 minutes in continually dynamic movements. Initially, a slow, lonely strummed harmony leads into titanic rhythmic blows, sorrowing synths, and harrowing vocal expressions that channel wrenching torment. The lead guitar slowly writhes through the crushing riffs and punishing rhythms like a spirit in agony. The music seeps under the skin and mesmerizes, even as it draws the mood into heartbreak.
As the song proceeds, it becomes powerfully jolting and the guitars more desperate in their feeling. That piercing guitar-lead re-surfaces, but there’s fight in the rhythmic slugging. Yet the music also dramatically softens, the guitars ringing in dreamlike tones, leading the listener toward a sultry solo performed by the band’s guest Mike le Rossetti which employs a tone reminiscent of both a violin and a smoky saxophone.
As we said, the song is a dynamic one, and so the gorgeous soloing begins to dart and dance brightly, backed by head-moving beats. There’s a feeling of hopefulness and elevating joy in that increasingly virtuosic guitar performance, which brings the song to a dramatic crescendo, in which jolting chugs, wailing guitars, and spine-tingling growls join in. But the song ends as it began, with a forlorn and lonely conclusion.
The music was recorded at Diorama Sound in Mallorca during Autumn 2022, engineered by Toni Salvà. The tremendous cover art was made by Threadbare, and the band’s logo by Andreu Art.
SOLNEGRE‘s debut album is expected to release through Funere in the Fall of 2023. The single will be available on April 7th. And for still more info, check out the recent interview you can find here, as well as the social media links below
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