In Solitude
Sister


3.7
great

Review

by Voivod STAFF
October 9th, 2013 | 18 replies | 5,921 views


Release Date: 10/01/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In Solitude signify the twilight of their idols.

Metalheads tend to debate a lot about bands having a voice of their own or not. There are the so-called “elitists”, who are in exclusive pursuit of originality, saying that derivative bands should be cast to the fire, and there are those who fancy discovering outfits that bring yesterday to today. The said debate gets even more intense about outfits residing in the grey area, bands that revisit the days of old, but have a way of bringing something of their own to the table sooner or later. For not so obvious reasons, one such band is Sweden’s In Solitude. See, when Mercyful Fate had risen from their tomb in the early ‘90s and during their near-10-year course, the world of metal rejoiced as none other outfit than MF themselves could reproduce that eerie ‘80s occult metal of albums such as Melissa and Don’t Break The Oath. As for King Diamond’s vocals, there wasn’t even a slightest hint of another vocalist coming remotely near, let alone walking along his characteristic vocal trails.

The above were a dogmatic certainty up until 2009, where bands like In Solitude and Portrait came to the surface and crushed the said perceptions to their own merit. In Solitude in particular, amazed the underground with the dark, complex at times, ‘80s heavy metal of their eponymous debut album, and the superb vocal work of heavy metal crooner Pelle Åhman. The departure of guitarist Mattias Gustafsson after In Solitude, combined with his replacement by Niklas Lindström, brought a mere shift in style in the follow-up album The World. The Flesh. The Devil. The band continued to operate under the Mercyful Fate influence, only this time the already present NWOBHM incentives were enhanced, while some atmospheric/goth/psych elements made a minor, but perceivable appearance in the album. The World. The Flesh. The Devil inherited a great deal of merit and momentum from its predecessor, yet elitists started speculating about In Solitude being something more than “just” an impressive retro metal band. In what feels as an atypical answer to all concerned parties, the new In Solitude album, titled Sisters, sees the band in signifying the twilight of their idols.

In most cases, changes in style go hand in hand with adjustments in the album art, and Sister could be easily misunderstood as an unreleased album by early ‘80s post-punk/goth outfits such as Bauhaus, Joy Division and their peers. Truth is that In Solitude’s affinity for these sounds had already been revealed in their sophomore effort, but this time around, the Swedes from Uppsala make it quite clear that they were inspired by the said outfits, and that they are through worshipping other bands. The said vibes are very well concealed and any attempt to reference the album sites where they reside, would seem subjective, even forced. The only number hinting directly at the said outfits (Bauhaus in particular) is the acoustic dirge “He Comes”, the album opener. Pelle’s cavernous crooning in that song, stands as a universal reference for the whole album, even when he is literally spitting his guts out, sounding at times like an angry version of Robert Smith (“Pallid Hands”) or Dave Gahan (“A Buried Sun”).

The Mercyful Fate/NWOBHM worshipping days belong to the past not only for Pelle, but for the rest of the band as well. It has to be said though that Pelle’s vocal frequencies will always remind King Diamond in his MF days, and that degree of freedom comes with its own merits and demerits. In the light of what was mentioned in the previous paragraph, In Solitude are paying a non-trivial visit to a number of musical locations. While they are instantaneously hard rocking under the influence of the Devil’s blood, they also give in to doom/blues rock on a couple of occasions. Eventually, they end up lighting the different corners of an energetic, improvisational “heavy rock/metal” that’s fairly distanced from the traditional versions of both genres. The good thing is that all songs have a character of their own and hence an appreciable replay value. The latter is also sustained by the sound production, one of most lively ones to have ever been realized in recent years.

When all is said; before the release of Sister, the debate about In Solitude revolved around their awesome (to the brink of “groundbreaking”) obsession in worshipping Mercyful Fate and NWOBHM and whether they were better or worse than their retro metal peers. With Sister, the Swedes from Uppsala move away from their prior status, as they attempt to explore something that even they cannot adequately describe, when asked. Chances are that in years to come, fans and the band will go back to this album and still debate about what were the actual initiatives in making it. Let’s hope that as time passes on, more bands will lead themselves and their respective audiences to this state of uncertainty.



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Chart.
3.8
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2013



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

Buried Sun - http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=95873

Pallid Hands - http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=95763

Sister - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=R4EiRvFHrCo



Constructive criticism is most welcome.

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2013



7162 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

I've listened to this lately. Good album.

Digging: Floor - Oblation

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2013



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

^^Definitely. They got rid of everything that made them a retro metal worship band.

rockandmetaljunkie
October 9th 2013



3302 Comments


Is it just me, or are you delving more and more into the cult-vintage-classic Heavy Metal sound with your last 5-10 reviews ?

Review is solid, of course, there is no need to mention that. Where's the pos button ?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2013



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

There's no pos button for staff members :-).

Also I try to find good stuff in every metal genre, the ones you mentioned are currently at the top of my list.

rockandmetaljunkie
October 9th 2013



3302 Comments


Yes I know man, just my bad idea of a joke.

"There are the so-called “elitists”, who are in exclusive pursuit of originality"

It stands for the majority of the artists: It is almost impossible to create your own vision and achieve a certain level of originality, at least for your first couple of albums. Every artist must first go through the primal levels of molding and shaping a musical personality and learn to compose instinctively without the influence of his surroundings. It's sth very hard to achieve and most of the artists actually never reach this level of freedom.

DropdeadWHA
October 9th 2013



546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is their best imo.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2013



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

The band is trying to find its own voice, I'll give you that.

I don't know if this album is their best, what's certain is that it is totally different from the previous two albums, which I enjoyed thoroughly.

And one other thing: It was really hard to find similar albums to put in "recommended albums".

I put the Bauhaus LP for obvious reasons but as I write in the review the post-punk influence is circumstantial, The Devil's Blood influence is apparent in "Death Knows Where" and their debut album is still awesome and a proper introduction to the band.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2013



6734 Comments


Maybe I'll check this out due to your review Vo, it's been sitting in my promo lists for the last couple of months.

Good read.

manosg
October 11th 2013



4689 Comments


Excellent read. I'll definitely check those 3 tracks you've posted.

Also, I agree with rockandmetaljunkie regarding the originality statement.

Digging: Jan Akkerman - Tabernakel

slep
October 11th 2013



1604 Comments


great review. album cover looks sweet, yet this doesn't seem like something I'd enjoy

DropdeadWHA
October 26th 2013



546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've decided this is a AOTY contender for me.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 27th 2013



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

It's a good album, that's for sure, its style though is far from refined.

SteelErectedb4you8er
November 4th 2013



2612 Comments


I am probably one of the biggest In Solitude fans. To me, The World, The Flesh, The Devil is a classic record, in yes, that it is complete NWOBHM/Mercyfukl Fate worship, but I found them to even have their own voice on that record. The singer's voice is unique and well balanced with the music.

Well, I am listening to this album for the first time tonight. And it seems like they have added a The Cure/80s gothic type vibe into their music. At times, the singer sounds like Robert Smith/David Gahan of Depeche Mode. This record with songs such as "A Buried Sun," "Plallid Hands," "Lavender," and "Sister" are definitely fantastic songs, in my opinion.

The World, The Flesh, The Devil is a great album, and deserves more attention, and I think this album is great step for the band, and with more listens, I know the better it will get as well.

Good review, Voivod.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2013



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

In Solitude live in Los Angeles on October 26 - "Sister":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75Bg_PqmIIg#t=201


In Solitude live in Oakland on October 25: Video Interview, Performance Footage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2d_9y_bmxsc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsDnVRhk9_A

Uranium
December 11th 2013



6635 Comments


A buried sun is so freakin amazing holyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy shit

Thibs
February 27th 2014



549 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This really grew on me. Worth checking out

someguest
March 14th 2014



18902 Comments


yeah this rules

Digging: BABYMETAL - Babymetal



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