Solitude Aeturnus - Into The Depths Of Sorrow
Coming across a recent re-issue of Solitude Aeturnus' Into The Depths Of Sorrow amongst my recent package of promos was a most pleasant surprise, as this album has been apart of my collection for years and holds a very special place. Hailing from Texas, the band (who originally went by just Solitude) were one of the pioneering voices in doom metal's storied past. With roots in the sludge created by Black Sabbath, Witchfinder General and Candlemass before them, Solitude Aeturnus has evolved into a true juggernaut today. On Into The Depths Of Sorrow, many of their more symphonic elements are absent and one gets a wonderful glimpse of what doom is really about; bare-boned and stripped metal, warm and heavy like the bloodied end of a sledgehammer.
The album has never sounded as good as it does here, and I have to give big props to everyone involved in putting this limited-to-2000 remastered masterpiece together. I rarely make comments on album art and the like, but this is one pretty package even if it is a simple digipak. As for the music, well, it's pure doom in the manner of those bands I mentioned earlier, but it also takes on more of an epic power-metal feel, due largely in part to the operatic vocals of Robert Lowe. Solitude are riff-worshippers through and through, and every song (most of which are lengthy at around 7 minutes) features a literal overload of them, proving (along with some absolutely crushing solos ("White Ship" in particular)) John Perez to be one of metal's oft-forgotten high talents.
I still love the way Into The Depths Of Sorrow washes you in it's bitter atmosphere, at once threateningly hot and unbearably cold. Touching on the most lowly and agonizing of human emotion, the lyrics meet, match and add even more power to Lowe's vocals. This is a true classic not only for the near-perfection of the 8 tracks (and the bonus demos are killer, even if they're mostly exact replicas of the originals), but because Solitude Aeturnus have been forerunners of their scene for longer than most bands can claim. They would go on to do a couple bigger, more epic records, but they'd never come as close to the true soul of doom than right here.
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