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Totalselfhatred - Solitude

Totalselfhatred
Solitude
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 21 May 2018, 7:28 AM

Depressive Black Metal is a sub genre I’m not real familiar with but after listening to TOTALSELFHATRED’s newest release “Solitude,” that is an issue I am going to immediately fix.  The band hails from Finland and although this third release from them has just five songs, it totals in just over 40 minutes in length.  Its a nice sweet spot of time because it allows the band’s very atmospheric sound to be just potent enough without being overkill. The first track, “Solitude MMXIII,” opens with an aptly somber piano that is quickly joined by some clean guitar parts.  Its definitely depressing in the overall tone but its also almost beautiful in a morbid way.  Members A, J, and C, definitely know how to use simple, quiet, notes to create a thunderous painting.  The vocals are the incarnation of tortured souls, near depravity in their anguish.

I really liked how this song is weaved together so effortlessly with the vocals working alongside the current that flows into a rather moving guitar melody.  N’s bass is a standout here and throughout the album he keeps the bleak atmosphere moving along while being a strong backbone for the band. “Cold Numbness,” is just that: a heart wrenching, chilled expression of a song that leaves you shaking by the end.  For a band of this nature, J’s drumming is surprisingly energetic and kept me from having to kill myself while experiencing the desolate nature of the song.  The last two minutes of the song are an extremely layered atmosphere, in no small part to the drum’s bass, the bass guitar, and clever use of keys.

In “Hallow,” ominous bass tones begin the song just head of melancholic melody.  The furious drumming and blackened screams give the song a bit of a more traditional Black Metal sound but more ambient pieces of the song, such as the movement starting at 2:25, keep things firmly planted on the depressive/doom side. Acoustics and sweeping keys permeate “Black Infinity” like a deep sleep but the vocals ensure you won’t stay asleep long but instead jolted awake just before your end comes.   The last minute of the song is the best part, with sparse ambient notes, interesting drums, and a mood killing guitar all come together in a rumbling end. The final track, “Nyktophilia,” spends the first three minutes or so with all clean instrumentals that slowly build into a caustic, electric melody and haunting vocal deliveries.  The song being divided in half between clean and metal really gives the sense that a full journey has been made and I find the song to be the album’s highlight.

Even in the an extreme musical landscape such as metal, Depressive Black Metal probably crosses the line for most in terms of what is listenable and what is just too much to handle. If you can acquire the taste to find beauty in a morbid world, you will find this release to be a worthwhile dark horse.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Solitude MMXIII
2. Cold Numbness
3. Hollow
4. Black Infinity
5. Nyctophilia
Lineup:
A – Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
C – Guitars, Vocals
I – Drums, Vocals
J – Guitars, Vocals
N - Bass
Record Label: Osmose Productions
     


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