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Solemnity – Through Endless Darkness Award winner

Solemnity
Through Endless Darkness
by Mark Machlay at 14 July 2020, 12:19 AM

These lads seem to be confused as to their country of origin. Not every decent melodic death metal band comes from Finland or Scandinavia but it is confusing when one worth a second listen pops up elsewhere. Surprisingly to some, the group SOLEMNITY is actually from Birmingham, sharing an origin with one of the original great heavy metal bands BLACK SABBATH. Created in 2016 by Dan Benton on vocals and guitar and Amit Luthor providing additional guitar as well as piano and orchestration, the pair intended for their sound to be “sonically diverse”. With the aid of Dan Dean on bass, the groups 25 minute EP “Through Endless Darkness” is meant to combine the gorgeous and expansive orchestral stylings with the biting ferocity of heavy metal.

The music is in the tight little EP is packed with the sweeping, grandiose, and awe-inspiring gestures of metal beauty. Starting off with the exquisite instrumental piece “Invierno”, the listener is treated to an orchestral piece worthy of a movie score before adding some metal elements – guitar and drums – towards the end. By the end, the stage has been set and the next track, “Pray For The Light” wastes no time, diving head first into hardcore death metal growls. The orchestra is woven back into the song later in a seamless blending of the two disparate words before winding down to light, melancholic guitar and piano melodies. “So It Ends” continues the clean guitar motif from the previous track before plunging down again into the heavy, chugging, melodic riffage. The endless blending is felt between the two genres, a beautiful pushing and pulling of both light and dark combining to take the listener on quite the journey.

Obviously, I was quite taken with this band and found a lot to love about them. IN FLAMES has changed so much as a band it’s hard to categorize what they are now, but I feel SOLEMNITY are a great continuation of the feel and scope IN FLAMES tried to achieve with their 1996 release “The Jester Race” if the band had access and willingness to use an orchestra. I would also liken them to DIMMU BORGIR’s but more towards the symphonic side and less the black metal side. The symphonic and metal genres are not necessarily hard genres to blend but few do it so well and I look forward to more from this trio. Being a new artist, you have to be hungry but pushing new boundaries and sonic territories always takes exploration of new music to whole other level. Sometimes a band’s attempt at the combination combination falls flat on its face, but rarely does a band make me stand and actually demand my discerning ear and SOLEMNITY have me for sure.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Inveirno
2. Pray For The Light
3. So It Ends
4. Prelude To
5. Our Demise
Lineup:
Dan Benton – Vocals and Guitar
Amit Luther – Orchestration, Piano and Guitar
Dan Dean – Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 14 August 2020
 

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