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Solothus : Summoned from the Void

Two years later, Solothus have refined and matured their sound and somehow turned their back to their too obvious influences.

Hailing from Turku, Finland, Solothus had released a three track demo in 2011: 'Ritual of the Horned Skull'. While displaying obvious signs of quality musicianship, the appeal of this demo had left me somehow puzzled since it came off as if Solothus were trying to copy Hooded Menace a bit too much. Doom Death with a hint of Traditional Doom -meaning some groovier mix- could look like a great combination but Lasse Pyykko’s act was actually the initiator of this sub-sub-genre, and it didn’t quite hit the right spot like it should have.

Two years later, Solothus have refined and matured their sound and although the guitar solos are still reminiscent of the usual Traditional pattern -and these sound even more epic than in their first offering in my opinion- the Finns have somehow turned their back to their too obvious influences. Tracks have gotten longer, from the initial 5/6 minute marks to the now 7/8 minute and even up to 11 minute songs with the closing number; as a result, the underlying groove turned the music into yet another beast. Although undeniable, this “groove” has somehow subsided to become someting more "ritual" in essence, taking away the Heavy Metal feel to replace it with moods turning the overall album into a more tribal, if not religious, experience. By doing so, 'Summoned from the Void' sticks longer with you after the final note hit your ears and the whole speaks more to your alpha brain waves than to your stomping feet. Where 'Ritual of the Horned' was somehow too “cheerful” to be completely Doom Death, 'Summoned from the Void' envelops you and goes deeper inside of you. If I were to play again the game of possible influences, I could depict the Finns having skipped from Hooded Menace to Runemagick. A title like 'Magus of Doom' being, for instance, very reminiscent of the Swedes’ 'Chthonic Temple Smoke' from 'Dawn of the End' (not even mentioning the similarity in name with the tilte 'Magus of Fire' from the same record).

Does that mean that Solothus are still looking for their own sound? It could be, however it’s certainly not as blatant on their debut as much as it was on their demo. 'Ritual' was too obvious a Hooded Menace copycat whereas this new release goes in a direction that is much more personal despite some similarities with 'Runemagick', as said previously. It’s not yet the album that would help the Finns to stand out, but it’s a huge improvement over their demo and if they keep on exploring these new realms, I will bet my two cents that the sophomore full-length will put them on the map of Doom Death for good.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Frostbane Overture
2. Hordes of the North
3. Plaguewing
4. Magus of Doom
5. Summoned from the Void
6. Upon Shattered Lands

Duration : Approx; 43 minutes

Visit the Solothus bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-09-10 by Frédéric Cerfvol
Vanha - Black Lion
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