Solitude Aeturnus - Into the Depths of Sorrow (Roadrunner Records) 1990
1. "Dawn of Antiquity
(a Return to Despair)" (1:03)
"Into the Depths of Sorrow" is one of the most hailed doom albums by metal fans worldwide. Indeed it is a great doom album. The music is encrusted with classic metal influences combined with doom metal riffs, albeit a bit faster than the average doom band. The heavy riffs are enhanced by some blazing guitar solos by founder John Perez and Edgar Rivera. "Dawn of Antiquity" is a little intro that starts things off before diving into the epic "Opaque Divinity". Imagine if early Fates Warning crashed into Candlemass and you might get a picture of what this song sounds like. The next two songs are both close to eight minutes in length and are both equally excellent. "Transcending Sentinels" has a heavy Black Sabbath vibe to the music. Of course that's not saying much. What doom band isn't inspired at least in part by the mighty Sabbath? "Dream of Immortality" is a bit more upbeat and even has a bit of thrash riffing just before the lead break. "Mirror of Sorrow" is a semi-ballad type song. "Where Angels Dare to Tread" finishes the original album off and is yet another dark, moody, heavy song. The entire album actually has a heavy, somber mood to it, which I suppose is the whole point of doom. Rob Lowe has a unique, dramatic and immediately recognizable voice, combining mid-range, moody singing and high screams that are in league with classic singers like John Arch, James Rivera and Ronnie James Dio. Rob's vocals are what brings this album to life. Unfortunately the original release was a bit hard to find. In 2004, guitarist John Perez re-released "Into the Depths of Sorrow" on his own Brainticket Records. The album was re-release again in 2007 by Roadrunner Records. The Roadrunner re-release features is a limited edition, numbered, deluxe digipack that is completely remastered, includes three bonus tracks and new liner notes. My copy is 1467/2000.
1. Falling (4:07)
Texas doom metal crew Solitude Aeturnus deliver their third album of slow, sludgy heavy metal. "Through the Darkest Hour" is packed full of heavy riffs and songs with enough dynamics to keep things from ever getting dull. As usual the band's dark and heavy sound is given life through the vocals of Robert Lowe. His vocals almost seem a little loud in the mix, though I'm not sure that is actually the case. Rather, with such a heavy, low frequency wall of sound behind him Lowe's vocals are really the brightest sound in the mix.
The album opens like a slow-moving locomotive. It's heavy and lumbering but at the same time powerful and commanding. "Haunting the Obscure" follows and is another trip into Sabbath-inspired heavy metal territory. The song, like the majority of the album, is driven by them menacing riffs of John Perez & Edgar Rivera with Lowe's high pitched wailings standing out in stark contrast. "The 8th Day: Mourning" is a dark and heavy funeral dirge acting as a six minute long introduction to the even heavier "The 9th Day: Awakening". Each song on "Through the Darkest Hour" seems to be darker, heavier, more haunting than the next. "Pain", "Pawns of Anger", and "Eternal" are no exceptions to this rule.
"Through the Darkest Hour" is a crushing, dark and moody doom metal album.
Solitude Aeturnus - Adagio (Massacre Records) 1998
This album is stinkin' heavy! Simply put, the more I listen to "Adagio" the more I am convinced that this is one of the best dooooom metal album ever. As would be expected from a doom band, the music is dark, somewhat bleak, mostly slow to mid-paced and heavily guitar driven. However, this album is far from being boring or depressing. No it's heavy! It's moody! It's richly textured. It's well performed. It will pull you in and not let you go until the entire album is finished. And did I mention, it's heavy? Robert Lowe's voice is mesmerizing as well. The only side step on this album is the John Perez-sung acoustic tune "The Fall" which slightly disturbs the overall flow of the album. "Adagio" is finished with "Heaven and Hell", a cover of the classic Black Sabbath track. As would be expected from a band that is heavily influenced by the masters of metal, Solitude Aeturnus nail this cover! All in all, "Adagio" is one excellent, crushing, heavy, doom metal album.