|Classic Review: Solstice - Lamentations|
Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 1994
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: February 1, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4/5 (80%) (42 Votes)
This was the debut album for Rich Walker's Doom project Solstice. For those who don't know, Rich is the founder and operator of The Miskatonic Foundation – one of the smallest and coolest indie labels out there. He has released Ironsword's two masterpieces, and as if that were not enough, also Twisted Tower Dire's "Isle Of Hydra" and a fine rerelease of Slough Feg's debut. So Rich is responsible for some very cool stuff already, but here he is more directly responsible. In true Doom Metal fashion, Solstice have managed only 2 albums in about 15 years, plus assorted splits, singles and compilations.
This is pure doom. There's a dominant Sabbath/Solitude Aeturnus influence, with a touch of Paradise Lost and even Candlemass to the riffage. Vocalist Simon Matravers sounds a lot like Robert Lowe, only in a lower register, as he sings no real high notes. The vocal lines are pretty good, if a little uninspired here and there – following the riffs too close. But the real meat and milk here are the awesome riffs, which I assume Rich, as guitarist and band founder, is largely if not entirely responsible for. "Neither Time Nor Tide" is a haunting tune that will never get out of your head, and great, Sabbathy riffs adorn such Doom epics as "Only The Strong" and "Last Wish". There are no weak tracks on the album, and it grows on you something fierce after repeated listens, so while it may sound just pretty good at first blush, give it more time, trust me. This is a deep and involving album that sounds so cool and archaic in that was Doom can sometimes – like music unearthed from the 14th century. This is certainly a recommended album.
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