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Solothus - Realm of Ash and Blood

Realm of Ash and Blood
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 21 March 2020, 4:13 AM

SOLOTHUS is a Death/Doom Metal band from Finland.  “Realm of Ash and Blood,” is their third full length album.  In addition, they have released a demo and a split.  I have to say this album is incredibly balanced.  As much as I love Death/Doom, so many bands go overboard on either one element without making I much of a true combination.

SOLOTHUS avoid this by sounding like a true representation of where the two sub genres meet.  They just know when to slow things down and carry on as an unstoppable force of sound or when to bludgeon to death with their furious guitar riffs. The opening track, “Father of Sickness,” is brought to life with some beastly tones from bassist TamiVell and Sami come along for the ride, the two clearly keen on the idea to make riffs that are thick but not so caustic as to just blend into the songs as distorted background noise.

The Gallow’s Promise,” is the soundtrack for such a punishment.  Much like a sullen prisoner might act on his execution day, the song’s beginning approaches the impending doom of having the rope put around your neck as you slowly succumb to your fate.  The execution is carried out around the 6:35 mark where the riffs pick up the tempo as the last life drains from the body.  The two-punch combination of low growls and higher screams works wonder for the song’s journey.

Below Black Waters,” is possibly the best track on the album.  The vocals are deep as the blackest levels of fathoms and the slight use of melody is as cold as the water which drags you down into the depths.  The ending solo was surprisingly moving, finding a spot in a darkly emotional song. The final track, “A Rain of Ash,” was a good choice for closing the album as it gives much variety to the overall sound of the album while also maintaining the previous track’s bleak darkness.  The first portion of the track is faster paced riffs, which lead into a clean section that has such ambiance, it gives most other ambient focused bands a run for their money. The middle portion is decidedly slower and definitely more Funeral Doom inspired than anything.

All in all, SOLOTHUS’ “Realm of Ash and Blood,” is one of the finest examples so far this year on how to do Death/Doom right—a worthy addition to 20 Buck Spin’s ever-growing roster of kick ass albums and bands.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Father of Sickness
2. The Watcher
3. The Gallows’ Promise
4. Last Breath
5. Below Black Waters
6. Chasm of Shattered Blood
7. A Rain of Ash
Vell-Matti Karjalainen - Guitars
Kari Kankaanpaa – Vocals
Juha Karjalainen – Drums
Tami Luukkonen – Bass
Sami Iivonen - Guitars
Record Label: 20 Buck Spin


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