|Review: Solstice - Death's Crown Is Victory|
|Death's Crown Is Victory|
Year released: 2013
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: January 12, 2014
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Death's Crown Is Victory
Solstice are one of the great underground bands. In existence for almost a quarter of a century, they have a discography that includes 7 demos, 3 splits, and a handful of EPs and compilations, but only 2 full-length albums, the most recent of which - New Dark Age - was released sixteen years ago. So this is a long-running and awesome band with what might be politely termed a tendency toward slow output. This release, another EP, is not the full album I hoped for, but it shows this once-legendary band has not lost their magic.
I say 'band', but I really just mean Rich Walker, because he is and has always been the genius behind this outfit, and this is otherwise an entirely different lineup than has ever recorded before. Rich has not lost his touch, however, and the music on here is pure Solstice all the way. You get two real songs - the epic "I Am The Hunter" and the magnificent title track, bookended by a pair of instrumental tracks that are certainly good enough, but not what I really wanted. Seriously, after sixteen years, this is all we get? I know we have promises of a new album soon, and this lineup is clearly really solid and the band sounds absolutely great, but two songs is not enough.
Rich still has his ear for epic riffs, as well as a great feel for leads, and the production is solid without being too slick. New singer Paul Kearns has a powerful voice, and at first I was a bit put off, as I was harking back to the more delicate sounds of previous vocalists. But his voice has grown on me, and I'm definitely won over now. I really want to hear this new lineup put out a full-length album, so we can finally have a worthy follow-up to the masterful New Dark Age. If you don't have this EP, then get it. But this doesn't get you off the hook, you hear me Rich?
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