In Solitude

The World. The Flesh. The Devil.

Written by: EW on 09/08/2011 19:31:21

Long in the coming has been the two reviews I shall now attempt, two albums that in all likelihood will sit in the very upper echelons of my Best of 2011 list in a few months time. Firstly, a band I have only been turned onto this year and instantly regretted it had not been sooner - In Solitude.

Heavy metal by name and oh so metal in nature, "The World. The Flesh. The Devil" may as well have been written for me personally so closely does it match my beliefs of what is so great about this genre of ours when done properly. Forget 'retro' or attempts to sell an image to the unsuspecting, this is the real deal. Mercyful Fate, Ghost and Iron Maiden rolled into a sumptuous, occult, magical package; good enough to make you forget about the also-rans in a genre that requires the dedication of band member's lives to be called leaders of a pack. Backed by a band of great songwriting and atmosphere building talent and a raw yet defined production, vocalist Pelle 'Hornper' Åhman leads a charge through the classic 80's metal songwriting template of catchy clean vocals, layered riffage and galloping bass lines and a real natural drum sound which alone is enough to distinguish between acts worthy of reverence and those not.

The opening triple salvo of the title track, "We Were Never Here" and "Serpents Are Rising" showcases all you need to know about how an honest, natural sounds allows a band's performances to shine through in ways a triggered and sanitised environment can never do so. "Serpents Are Rising", an upbeat number recalling Mercyful Fate at their best, is my stand-out track of the year so far. Through "Poisoned, Blessed and Burned", the superb "Demons" and beyond we hear In Solitude write songs of varying moods and tempos, utilising the happy knack all the best bands possess of building tension among the song's structures to such a degree where you could be mistaken for thinking you were listening to a record significantly more extreme than "The World…" actually is.

"To Her Darkness" is built upon a riffing structure so groovy it could have been lifted straight from the drug-hazed "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" classic record of yonder-year before "Dance of the Adversary", the most classic rock track on offer, and 13-minuter "On Burning Paths" close out the album in style.

What more can I say? While the retro thrash revivals flops around looking for a single band to write something different yet rivalling of the 80's classics, the reinvigorated heavy metal movement has at least it's third undisputed classic, alongside RAM's "Lightbringer" and Enforcer's "Diamonds" records. All three of these stand tall amongst the 80's heyday classics of Maiden, Fate, Priest, Accept and the like, giving me plenty of reason to maintain my faith in the underground. I suggest you cancel your other planned heavy metal purchases for this year and buy "The World. The Flesh. The Devil" instead.

9

Download: Serpents Are Rising, Demons, To Her Darkness
For The Fans Of: Mercyful Fate, RAM, Ghost
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 23.05.2011
Metal Blade Records

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