Review Summary: One of the most viscerally ferocious and overlooked EPs of 2012, "Sol Obscura" is a sign of great things to come.
This whole metalcore meets post-metal style, while a relatively novel idea in and of itself, is not something that hasn't been done before. With brilliant releases from bands like Trenches
and Amia Venera Landscape
having been dropped in the past few years, what this particular fusion lacks in pure volume of releases it more than makes up for with quality, and the latest from Melbourne-based conglomerate In Trenches
is no exception. Imagine if the tearing-the-skies-asunder fury of Amia Venera Landscape
were fused with the deliberation and precision of Trenches
, and throw a dash of pissed-off crust punk into the mix: chances are the final product would sound like something along the lines of Sol Obscura
. From the very start of opener 'Beneath', with its thundering bass, vaguely dissonant progressions, crushing atmosphere, and Neurosis
-on-steroids riffs, you know that you're in for one hell of a ride. This formula changes little throughout Sol Obscura
's five tracks, albeit for speeding up some on 'An Impending Collapse', thus providing for the EP's crustiest of songs, and slowing down slightly on the closer and highlight 'Silhouettes', but there is very little to complain about when the formula in question is this good. The aforementioned closer in particular is an absolute must-listen; an eight-minute, brilliantly progressive endurance test of furious metalcore and crushing sludge metal that houses some of Sol Obscura
's best riffs and most memorable moments, especially during its immense, wall-of-sound finish. Also worthy of note is penultimate track 'Distant', with its glitchy drumming, unrelenting bass performance, and spectacularly bleak atmosphere. However, while these two tracks may be the best showcases of In Trenches
' brilliance, their positive aspects permeate every one of Sol Obscura
's numbers, making for one of 2012's most aggressive, bleak, and unique releases. If this EP's 27 minutes are any indication, big things are in store for In Trenches
, so I implore you to keep an eye out for them in the coming year.