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Solace of the Void - Solace of the Void Award winner

Solace of the Void
Solace of the Void
by Damian Smith at 01 October 2019, 4:43 PM

Oh, Canada! I feel like I need to preface this review by stating that my opinion on this release is going to be unavoidably biased. SOLACE OF THE VOID is a musical project with its foundations in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. At its core, this band is John Chalmers, and Michael Grund. However, what these gentlemen have done with this, SOLACE OF THE VOID’s debut album, is bring together contributions from a who’s who list of close to twenty, Canadian musicians from bands, such as WOODS OF YPRES, THRAWSUNBLAT, VESPERIA, DEEP DARK RIVER, PANZERFAUST, BATTLESOUL, SLUDGEHAMMER, and more. As a musician, and member of a Blackened Doom Metal band from the Canadian prairies, who not only follows the work of several of these contributors, but who has also worked with, and even went to high school with one of them, I hope you’ll understand that it’s pretty hard for me not to get excited about this album!

SOLACE OF THE VOID’s music could easily be categorized as Black Metal, but I feel like that doesn’t tell the whole story. There are also elements of Doom Metal, and Neofolk prevalent, as well, with some tracks, such as “Of Stone & Gathering,” being almost entirely acoustic, and clean sung. Other songs, meanwhile, such as the opener, “From Ground to Sky Asunder” are a little more straight forward.

With so many different contributors to this album, each song ends up having its own unique character, particularly when it comes to the vocals. In all, six different vocalists are credited on the album, along with four drummers, three bassists, a keyboard player, cellist, and multiple guitarists. On paper, this seems like a very ambitious project, and one that must have been very difficult to coordinate, but it actually comes together quite seamlessly, and consistently, thanks to the guidance, and songwriting talents of Chalmers, and Grund.

My favorite track on the record is, perhaps, the previously mentioned “Of Stone & Gathering” which features vocals by Joel Violette (ex-WOODS OF YPRES, THRAWSUNBLAT), and cello by Raphael Weinroth-Browne (THE VISIT, MUSK OX). It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the music these gentlemen create, but in particular, this song kept drawing me back with its warm, and wistful melodies, and primal energy. “The Circle” was another early favorite of mine, which closes out the album with Jon Doyle’s (BATTLESOUL) soaring vibrato.

From a production standpoint, this album sounds excellent. It’s not too clean, or polished, but all of the different layers are still nice, and audible. There isn’t really a whole lot for me to complain about here, honestly. Again, you could make the argument that I’m a little biased in this case. But, up until I was assigned this album to review it, I actually didn’t know the project even existed. Even under different circumstances, this album just checks all my boxes. Fans of any of the bands that I’ve mentioned in this review, or bands like AGALLOCH, and PANOPTICON would do well to check out this release!

Songwriting:  10
Originality:  9
Memorability:  10
Production:  9


5 Star Rating

1. From Ground to Sky Asunder
2. Before the Throne of Beauty and Bone
3. The Fated Prophecy
4. Of Stone & Gathering
5. A Diadem of Twilight
6. The Circle
Michael Grund – Guitars, Keyboards
John Chalmers – Guitars
Record Label: CDN Records


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Edited 10 July 2020

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