|Review: Solemn Vision - Solemn Vision|
Year released: 2019
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: July 10, 2019
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
New York-based band Solemn Vision, originally called Spectral Voices until recently, tout themselves as Progressive Melodic Death Metal, and I was lucky enough to get a copy of their self-titled debut from one of their members at the Tuska Festival in Finland this year (shame I was too drunk to remember which one it was). I'm glad they did, as this album is a perfect example of a group that takes their craft seriously and have more to offer than just showing off how talented they are.
That said, they don't offer any easy listening for their listeners. Excluding the obligatory intro, six of the eight songs are more than eight minutes in length, and they don't shy away from all the time changes and intricate structures you'd expect from a prog outfit. Thankfully, they pack in a lot of killer melodies and hooks that call to mind bands like Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, and Insomnium in their prime, spice it up with some clean vocals by Aaron Harris, and never fall into the trap of overloading their compositions with the mindless twiddling that ruins so many other progressive acts. Rather, the complexity on display is used to give depth and layers to the music, making each listen more rewarding than the last.
Despite mixing two genres that are often respectively overblown and trendy in the extreme, Solemn Vision take the best qualities of both genres to create a compelling and fairly novel sound. Get this if you like your Death Metal on the adventurous side.
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