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Solstice - Casting the Die

Casting the Die
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 28 March 2021, 7:12 AM

During the early days of the second coming from Death Metal (that was empty from relevant names after POSSESSED, KREATOR, SODOM and others evolved to Thrash Metal during the years 1986 and 1987), when the genre was just starting to spread its talon again, as the pioneers gained more name, the smaller names start to become empty of members. And maybe no band can talk about it as the pioneers of Florida Death Metal, SOLSTICE. The band was formed by Rob Barrett, Alex Marquez, and Dennis Munoz. But as Rob left to join MALEVOLENT CREATION (and later, CANNIBAL CORPSE) and Alex joined MALEVOLENT CREATION as well, the quartet broke up many times since then, even after releasing two albums, “Solstice” (1992) and “Pray” (1995). But they’re back, unleashing their fury with “Casting the Die”.

The band’s music is focused on a fusion 80% of traditional Death Metal from Florida and 20% of aggressive Thrash Metal (due the hooks that exist in many songs). So it can be said that the quartet uses a traditional form of Death/Thrash Metal, but it doesn’t sound moldy or as something that was heard before. No, far from that, because the band uses rich and brutal arrangements in many parts and even hardcore influences can be heard, and even the guitar solos show a careful use of technique aligned with a melodic sense. It sounds traditional, but actual, full of life and energy. The sonority of “Casting the Die” was conceived to respect the band’s past, or in other words, it sounds rough and oppressive as the old recordings of the past, with crude instrumental tunes, but in a defined and clean way. So the listeners will understand everything that’s played without any problem.

11 songs are waiting to unleash aches on the eardrums, so be prepared to be stomp-flat by songs as “The Altruist” (a very good Death/Thrash Metal song with massive guitar riffs and insane solos, and a very good chorus), the catchy tempos of “Transparent” (that shows excellent bass guitar and drums parts), the intense and abrasive energy that comes from “Lifeline” and “Ignite”, the Death Metal violent that permeates “Outlast”, The brutal crush imposed by “Cast the Die” (very good vocals, and they not using low grunts, but a form of screamed tunes), and the massive grasp of the guitars on “Scratch”. These are the best ones to adapt your ears for their musical onslaught.

It’s obvious that the 12 years between SOLSTICE’s last album, “To Dust” (released back in 2009), is a long time for waiting. But “Casting the Die” is worthy of it.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Altruist
2. Transparent
3. Who Bleeds Whom
4. Lifeline
5. Ignite
6. Outlast
7. Seven
8. Embellishment Exposed
9. Cast the Die
10. Eyes Sewn Shut
11. Scratch
Ryan Taylor - Vocals, Guitars
Dennis Munoz - Guitars
Marcel Salas - Bass
Alex Marquez - Drums
Record Label: Emanzipation Productions


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