Saturday, August 11, 2012

melancholy, heaviness, quality: Eye of Solitude

Eye of Solitude  (U.K.): Sui Caedere (Kaotoxin Records)
The description of the music of Eye of Solitude might not sound that interesting and the label/category of the music might make some people stop reading as soon as they read the label.
                  A swift “No, thanks. I don’t like that genre,” might be the reaction.
It’s too bad, really, because Eye of Solitude, for one thing, pleasantly surprised me with how memorable and likeable their songs are. Secondly, their style makes them stand out in a genre that seems so “specialized.”

Eye of Solitude displays a melodic/melancholic sound that goes at a crawling speed, with a super duper heavy atmosphere. Of course, that means the drumming is definitely slow.

The vocals are a gentle super low growling. In other words, the growling sounds like a benevolent monster, but a monster nonetheless. I think, to most metalheads, the vocals will not be a problem because it is not an annoying style, with weird screams and things like that. Rather, it is another instrument for heaviness.
Eye of Solitudes strikes a balance, on one hand, between melody, melancholy and memorable songs, and, on the other, a heaviness reserved only for the heaviest of the heaviest, in the realm of funeral doom.

If you are very knowledgeable of doom death or funeral doom or gothic metal, you will probably identify the influences much more clearly than I can. The “funeral doom/doom death,” the really, really super heavy/slow stuff is not always the easiest music to get into.

But, the point is that Eye of Solitude is, in my view, different because I think that it certainly is easier to understand, to remember and to like.

I will give two examples. First up, “Performed in Graphic pain,” (6:40) has an instantly likeable melody, thanks to the atmosphere of the keyboards and the very nice melodic work on the guitars. The drumming is slow, with some midtempo moments. If you like slow guitar melodies and keyboards, in the context of a very heavy doom/gothic context, there is a lot to enjoy here. The guitar work in this song gives identity, and it’s all held together with a foundation of melancholic, monster-growl vocals and heavy guitars.
                  In short, an excellent song.

Example number 2: “A Note to Say Farewell” (7:20). This song really works out the slow, melancholic guitar notes, with serene, quiet moments. The guitar sounds like it is working on just a couple of different notes and turning those notes into a melody that will stick to your mind with just one listen. Once you grasp the melodies, you will not care that the song itself is actually quite slow.
                  That’s remarkable: that it does not matter if the song is slow or not. Yes, this is that good.

To sum up: don’t pass up the chance to hear a band play really heavy doom/death/gothic metal and do it very well.                

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