Soulitude - Wonderfool World
Power Metal
11 songs (52:29)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Goat

Although it starts with rather god-awful synth-pop meanderings, by the time some seriously heavy riffage comes in on Price Of War it’s fair to say that your Metal radar will be up and pointing. A side-project of Ignacio "Jevo" Garamendi, the guitarist from Spanish Power Metal heroes Valhalla who here plays all the instruments and sings, Soulitude has three albums to its name, and generously Ignacio has made all available to download free of charge from the band’s website, link above. Musically, this is somewhere between mid-period Edguy and Marco Hietala’s Tarot, although there are a mixture of musical influences in there – The Man Behind The Wall is more or less Melodeath, for example. I always feel bad criticising free albums like this, as to put so much work into something and then see it ripped apart by people who haven’t even paid to hear it must be incredibly depressing for an artist so generous, yet even in my most cynical and grumpy mood I can find little to criticise other than a couple of songs being a tad repetitive.

Although nothing on the album is really amazing or out-there, it’s still a very enjoyable listen that will surprise and delight fans of Power Metal. Ignacio is a terrific guitarist, and an intriguingly open-minded songwriter – the backing electronics on the gothic-tinged Back To Life is a bigger risk than most of the flower power crowd will be happy with, yet it absolutely works, switching back to the catchy power metal at exactly the right moment. Even ballad In Soulitude is more than passable, the true mark of quality in the Power Metal world, whilst seven-minute stomper Lost In The Ice slides along with the expected level of grandiosity and a kickass bit of soloing. The Savior out-Iced Earths Iced Earth, the well-titled Retarded Nation has a touch of glam to its growly assault, and the nine-minute Gernika 1937 is nicely militaristic. Ending it all is a rather enjoyable cover of Bowie’s Ashes To Ashes, which is exactly as awesome as you’d expect a Power Metal band covering Bowie to be.

It’s all pretty modern in style, and will easily upset anyone who thinks that, say, Blind Guardian lost it before A Night At The Opera, or that Gamma Ray sold out after their first couple of albums. But if you enjoy Power Metal for what it is and have the energy to drag yourself to Soulitude’s website, you’ll find better music for free there than you’d have to pay for elsewhere.

Killing Songs :
Price Of War, Man Behind The Wall, Back To Life, The Savior, Ashes To Ashes
Goat quoted 72 / 100
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