Review: In Solitude – Sister

Posted: November 14, 2013 in Reviews
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In Solitude are a reason to LOVE metal. A group of young upstarts from Uppsala in Sweden who took heavy metal by storm with their two previous efforts, and in that time became the guiding light for the future of metal. I rate ‘The World. The Flesh. The Devil’ as one of my favourite records of 2011, and waited with baited breath for ‘Sister’ as soon as I heard it was coming.

The album opens with ‘He Comes’, an acoustic intro that sets the tone perfectly for this record; its dark, simple but malevolent. First track proper ‘Death Knows Where’ mixes their classic Mercyful Fate influence with a decided Ghost B.C. flavour, without the theatrics of either band. In Solitude do not need such things, they are a band dedicated to their craft of fine, occult heavy metal. In fact, their sound has moved further away from Mercyful Fate and more towards Black Sabbath, both bands who excelled at atmosphere but the latter was much slower and more measured. There’s something decidedly gothic about In Solitude now, in terms of the dark melodies and morbid catchiness of the whole album, perfectly captured in ‘A Buried Sun’, which rumbles like Sabbath with Danzig on vocals.

‘Pallid Hands’ is dark post punk meeting galloping NWOBHM, vocalist Pelle Ahman holding court with his rich, powerful voice. In fact, it is Ahman that appears to have helped this band move beyond its ‘Mercyful Fate tribute act’ tag, his vocals steal your attention on every track. He’s brooding, almost sermon like on some tracks, and it matches with the mood of the record so well.

In Solitude sound more vital than ever on this album. ‘Sister’ is the sound of a band changing their sound to be more themselves. They take the spirit of the early doom years (1970s and early 80s), add splashes of gothic melodrama and then drown it in a murky darkness, creating one of the most compellingly dark records of 2013. Doom and gloom has never sounded so vitally alive.

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