Solitude Aeturnus - Through The Darkest Hour
Pavement Music
Doom Metal
9 songs (57:08)
Release year: 1994
Solitude Aeturnus, Pavement Music
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

Solitude Aeturnus is another band that I have heard a lot about but never had the chance to listen to. I was finally able to get a copy of the band's 1994 release Through The Darkest Hour, and spent a good long while listening to it. These guys really know how to craft good, doomy songs, and the talent on display here is awesome, especially in the vocal department by Rob Lowe, who many may know as the current vocalist of doom giants Candlemass. One of the first things I noticed about the album is the cover art by Leila Wendell. It's very low-key and gives you a sense of both beauty and dread, which is a pretty good description of the music.

The guitars on the first track, Falling, come in very heavy and very fuzzy, I don't know if that's due to distortion on them or the production, because the whole album seems to have a somewhat fuzzy quality, so I'm guessing it's a little bit of both. This first song, however is great. The riffs are very heavy and very catchy, with the vocals of Rob Lowe going perfectly with the down-tuned guitars. The drums are also very good in this song, adding just the right amount of driving slowness to the song. The song is about 4 minutes long but it feels like much longer because of the down-tempo style of the band. I think this track does a good job of displaying the overall feel of the album. Haunting The Obscure also has a slow tempo but is very catchy and has the same dark atmosphere as the first track. This is mostly due to the downtuned guitars and pounding drums. The vocals in the beginning of The 8th Day: Mourning are much softer and smoother than they have been so far, but they slowly build in intensity as the verse of the song continues. The 9th Day: Awakening picks the pace up where The 8th Day left off. The riffs come faster, though still far from fast, and the vocals are more of a heavy metal style. There are also some sounds in this song that sound like they belong on the streets of India with distinct sounds of a sitar. It is a bit weird, but it goes along with the electric guitar solo quite well and creates a feeling of antiquity. The lyrics here are mostly poetic and revolve around darkness, both physical and emotional. There are also tracks that seem almost like a narrative, such as this one and The 8th Day. Pain starts out slow with weird, wailing electric guitars, opening into a driving, mid-paced set of riffs. The vocals here are clean and higher pitched, getting a little rougher as the song picks up the pace. The guitar solo is really enjoyable to listen to and it sounds inspired by both doom and thrash metal. The song strangely changes right after this solo, almost beginning a new song that starts off very slowly with plenty of wailing electric guitar in the background creating a chilled atmosphere. This continues with the soft vocals of Lowe for a bit, and then the huge, destructive riffs come in again with plenty of energy. Pawns Of Anger has a quicker, almost march-like riff, sounding like soldiers marching to war. Perfect Insanity starts off with a foreboding Black Sabbath-esque riff, and this soon opens into the fastest track on the album, though it's still pretty long at over 6 minutes. I really enjoy this song because it shows something different, faster, angrier and full of energy.

If you want some metal that is relatively slow and heavy, yet still catchy, this is the album for you. Solitude Aeturnus have created a very listenable doom metal record that flows slowly and sinks in deep. I especially like the vocal performance from Rob Lowe. His voice is varied just enough throughout the album to show what he can do, and his voice always stands out in a good way. Not to mention he can really sing with some emotion. However I think the best part about this album though is that every song takes you on a journey that will not soon be forgotten. I will definitely be checking out more of their catalogue.

Killing Songs :
Falling, The 9th Day: Awakening, Pain, Perfect Insanity
Khelek quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Solitude Aeturnus that we have reviewed:
Solitude Aeturnus - Adagio reviewed by Khelek and quoted 93 / 100
Solitude Aeturnus - Alone reviewed by Adam and quoted 90 / 100
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