Thursday, 21 July 2016

Solothus - "No King Reigns Eternal" (Album Review)

By: George Parr


Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 18/03/2016
Label: Doomentia Records


An encompassing album with an unforgiving heaviness, "No King Reigns Eternal" sees Finns Solothus’ improve on their debut album, and release one of the heaviest doom releases so far this year. Instilled with death metal elements and no signs of calm, it is a harrowing album full of weighty monolithic riffs and a murky atmosphere.

“No King Reigns Eternal” CD//DD tracklisting:

1. The Betrayer
2. No King Reigns Eternal
3. Darkest Stars Aligned
4. Malignant Caress
5. Towers in the Mist
6. The Winds of Desolation

The Review

Building on the oozing potential of 2013’s “Summoned from the Void”, Finland’s Solothus have capitalised on all the potential that their debut full-length promised, providing grotesquely heavy death-infused doom metal that stays committed to tearing off heads.  Rather than blending slow-burning quieter moments with the more destructive sections, as bands like Haast’s Eagled have done this year, second album “No King Reigns Eternal” sees Solothus crushing skulls in a more efficient manner than on the debut, with a dense atmosphere of darkness en-wrapping a wholly consuming style cantered around pure aggression.

The album’s first riff roars out of the gloomy darkness, with rumbling bass and pin-point percussion adding to the growling guitar’s raw power. As with any devastatingly heavy doom outfit, the riffs are centre of attention, and opener ‘The Betrayer’ sets the bar high. Thankfully, Solothus are more than up to the task, with guitarists Veli-Matti Karjalainen and Sami Iivonen proving themselves hugely capable writers of shit-hot, face-shredding riffs throughout the album’s 43 minutes.

These riffs ensure that “No King Reigns Eternal” is nothing less than intensely gratifying heaviness, that merges the gory brutality of Entombed with the slowed pace of Sleep. No one will claim that Solothus’ gruesome doom hasn’t been heard before, but every grisly riff and guttural hate-filled bellow is drenched in a thick coat of morbid agony, with the word subtlety never once crossing Solothus’ minds. The balls-to-the-wall intensity of ‘Darkest Stars Aligned’ is unparalleled in its ability to create images of apocalyptic destruction, whilst the impressive lead guitars and occasional solos offer slight deviation from chugging guitars, helping to create a cold and sorrowful atmosphere that blankets Solothus’ many gut-punching riffs.

“No King Reigns Eternal” may be able to pride itself on its uncompromising, death metal-influenced take on doom, but despite the gory nature of their unyielding music, Solothus also manage to make room for an eerie, macabre atmosphere that sets it apart from its many rivals and allows them to refuse to let up without becoming too overpowering. Forceful but with a focused attitude that allows Solothus’ assault to be more captivating than it was on their debut release, it is a consistent album that deserves recognition for managing to not be derivative, and instead carving out its own bloodstained path.

“No Kings Reign Eternal” is available here



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