"Downfall" is the title of the fourth album by Texas-Doomsters SOLITUDE AETURNUS and for the fourth time they are celebrating their very own brand of epic, powerful and variable Doom Metal.
After "Through The Darkest Hour" had been a good portion doomier, the faster passages are returning with "Downfall", but never watering the solid Doom-foundation! After a short piano-introduction "Phantoms" serves us the first slab of great mid-paced Doom, which unites all trademarks of the SOLITUDE AETURNUS-sound. The foundation is Doom, heavy, broad, epic and in the case of the Americans time and again interspersed with faster passages and, of course, a world-class voice.
The renewed dynamics are impressively showcased by "Only This (And Nothing More)", after quite slow beginning powerful, faster elements loosen up the sound. New terrain is explored with the following "Midnight Dreams", which starts out with a sample from a werewolf-movie, before haunting vocals accompanied by acoustic guitars set in. The whole song, which again comprises some slow, but powerful Doom, is living off those passages of eerie guitars and haunting vocals, great!
After the quite typical Power Doom-song "Together And Wither" "Elysium" is delivering something yet unheard, because the word to best describe this song is "psychotic". Schizoid sounding vocals over strange wavering guitars, almost like the musical version of some special trip... And the following "Deathwish" is a cover-version of an CHRISTIAN DEATH-song and despite all claims of the band, this song just doesn't fit in here! Modern rhythm, no doomy atmosphere, only Robert Lowe's voice makes the connection to SOLITUDE AETURNUS, well, let's just say, not my cup of tea...
But the remaining three songs are more than making up for that, "These Are The Nameless" offers brilliant Power Doom with equally brilliant Refrain and uses mid-tempo-passages for increased dynamics, while "Chapel Of Burning" lives off the alternation of slow verse and faster chorus, one of the many highlights of this album. And among those, of course, also is the closing "Concern", which has its very own atmosphere. Everything sounds a little different, rhythm, vocal-lines, guitar-sound, the atmosphere, highly interesting and still always SOLITUDE AETURNUS!
For the fourth time SOLITUDE AETURNUS prove that they have an exceptional place in the Doom Metal! They have managed to stay true to their roots, but still go through an evolution that is firmly saving them from copying themselves. What bigger compliment could you make an extraordinary band?
Robert Lowe - vocals (Candlemass, Last Chapter)
John Perez - guitars
Lyle Steadham –bass
Edgar Rivera – guitars
John Covington - drums
1 Phantoms 5:59
2 Only This (And Nothing More) 5:26
3 Midnight Dreams 6:07
4 Together and Wither 5:38
5 Elysium 3:09
6 Deathwish 2:16
7 These Are the Nameless 5:25
8 Chapel of Burning 4:25
9 Concern 6:17
Widely regarded as a misstep for the band, it is still a recommended listen to doom fans and SA fanatics (most of whom probably already have this anyway). Heavy and sorrowful, no departures from the tried-and-true SA formula here, it's just that the quality drops down from its admittedly hard-to-follow predecessor.
Rip from CD 256@ (artwork included)