Dear Sister: In Solitude Continue Sweden’s Metal Mastery

Sweden has been contributing to the world of metal for decades, but even now in 2013, they always seem to surprise the metal community. Even after bringing legends like Messhugah and stars like In Flames to life, the recent years have been kinder than ever to Swedish metal and the bands it brews. As if this year’s Ghost B.C. album, Infestissumam wasn’t enough, Sweden brings another group of rising metal mavens to North America with In Solitude. Though they’ve been making music for more than a decade, the Uppsala quintet continue to explore the most revered sanctuaries of metal might. In Solitude’s third album is able to rival its stomping and brooding peers in doom metal, but the band’s insistence on capturing the melodic power of Black Sabbath is what makes Sister an album that sneaks past the feet of the monstrous colossi of the genre, all while making a dent in the hull of metal as a whole.

In Solitude’s sound is difficult to classify, but in a great way. They clearly have a respect and reverence for the doom metal titans Black Sabbath. The guitar riffs from axemen Niklas Lindström and Henrik Palm don’t possess the echoing tones of later doom metal bands like Trouble or Pentagram; instead, the guitarists add a rough and energetic tone, one straight out the book of Tony Iommi. By keeping the pace just upbeat enough to prompt experimentation, the songs sound much more characterized. “Pallid Hands” uses the same tones and notes that Black Sabbath made magical, but unlike the countless doom metal bands of the 2000’s onward, In Solitude don’t sound sluggish on Sister. The songs are actually quite interesting compositions, with plenty of fluid guitar solos and vocalist Pelle Åhman sounding off notes like Baroness’ John Baizley, performers far beyond the gloom of doom. In Solitude inject some much-needed personality into a genre whose standards and formulas have been running on fumes lately, and it’s a great gesture from these Swedish go-getters.

But the band still stays firmly fortified in the lower tones and dark chords of the heavier sides. Despite its ripping guitar lines, the title track has Pelle Åhman complemented by echoing effects and the bell-like bass tones from Gottfrid Åhman sound like psalms for a sermon after dark. Drummer Uno Bruniusson rounds out the quintet with remarkably virtuoso drumming variety. While not enough to rival the prog drummer greats like Tool’s Danny Carey or even Sabbath drum legend Bill Ward himself, it’s incredible hearing a fluid, almost jazzy drumming style in metal, one that’s groovy enough to get a circle pit going amongst the bass kicks and snare fills. Sister is an album that does just enough to stay in its genre of choice, but doesn’t follow the supposed status quo directed by the weighted, lurching beasts of modern doom metal. It’s remarkably varied and lets the band experiment with both melody and tone in shockingly creative ways.

At only eight tracks, Sister does end a bit prematurely. While the diversity between the tracks is definitely noticeable, when the songs crack an average of around five minutes, some opportunities seem to be missed. Despite the song’s nice mixture of tone and rhythm, each song stays within its own bubble. Tempo changes aren’t common, so the over-consistency in the tracks themselves is disappointing. The guys in In Solitude clearly have a wealth of talent across multiple metal fields, so it would’ve been even greater to hear another fresh track or two by the album’s end.

After listening to Sister in its entirety, it’s tough to call In Solitude a doom metal album exclusively. It really isn’t one. It’s dark, but not brooding; dramatic, but not sluggish. By taking cues from 70’s metal instead of modern doom metal, In Solitude manage to bring something fresh to the world of epic, dark and atmospheric metal symphonies. There are so many memorable elements to Sister, but the most resounding success is the band’s ability to combine thunderous rhythms with nimble guitar and vocal melodies. Even at its worst, Sister is refreshing, a diamond in the rough for the genre that takes notes from unexpected influences and interesting metal subgenres. It’s difficult to envision where In Solitude will go from here, but rest assured that Sister is a solid album that challenges conventions while never buckling its own weight. Check it out.

REVIEW: Swedish Metal act In Solitude release the darkness on their new album “Sister”

On In Solitude’s latest release on Metal Blade Records, “Sister”, the Swedish retro-metal act has created an eclectic group of songs that stay focused in a style and sound while still coloring outside of the lines.  As the Goth-Rock and Post-Punk-esqe opening track “He Comes” winds on, you get a sense of the way the rest of the album will sound and progress. There is a dark, barren atmosphere of despair present in this opening number that seems to be setting the tone for the rest of the album. While this first track certainly does set the tone, it isn’t until the relentless “Death Knows Where” punches you in the face that you realize that In Solitude will not only take you into the dismal depths of darkness, but that they’re going to beat your ass once you get there.

Upon recording the album, the band was quoted saying: “It’s time to release our third album, and things have never felt this clear and pervasive before. This is a feeling that has permeated our whole lives during the latest year of writing and recording this album, as well as digesting and dealing with its consequences. And it has been wonderful, overwhelming and utterly devastating.” Wonderful, overwhelming and utterly devastating seem to ring fairly true for the sound of this new album as well. There is a wonderfully crafted musical precision that is counter balanced with atmospherically dark grittiness, resulting in something engaging and unpredictable.

As the album progresses, In Solitude bring you further into their heavy metal world with moods that range from Mercyful Fate-esque guitar flavors, shadows of Black Sabbath, the heavy dissonance of Swans, to straight-forward, ear worm riffs not unlike their Swedish peers, Ghost. Not to mention the vocal quality and delivery of singer Pelle Åhman. At times almost demonically chanting in reverb while at others driving and pervasive, Ahman possesses a certain tone of filth and desperation not too far removed from Birthday Party era Nick Cave. In any case, one thing can be said for certain: their delivery is as genuine as it is impressive.


“Sister” was recorded at Studio Cobra in Stockholm, Sweden during March 2013. The album was produced and mixed by Martin “Konie” Ehrencrona and stands as a logical next step above and beyond its predecessor, “The World.The Flesh.The Devil.” In Solitude’s strength resides in their ability to craft dark and oppressive atmospheres within the auditory realm of classic heavy metal. The album concludes with an 8-minute, driving, near trance-like opus that features guest guitarist Pelle Forsberg (Watain).

IN SOLITUDE signed a worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records in 2010. This is also the year that Henrik Palm, vocalist and guitarist for the heavy punkers Sonic Ritual, passed the trials by fire and thus a new fury rose within the horde. The cultivation of a new sound nears perfection; one that bears the dynamic powers of youth and the embittered wisdom of the ages.

In November 2010, the horde entered Nicke Anderson’s (HELLACOPTERS) brand new studio Gutterview Recorders in Stockholm, Sweden with producer Fred Estby (DISMEMBER, DEATH BREATH) to record the band’s sophomore record, which was released in the Spring of 2011. The World.The Flesh.The Devil was released to worldwide praise from press and fans alike and landed at the #4 spot on Decibel Magazine’s Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2011. Additional accolades were heaped onto the album from Terrorizer Magazine, who called the album”finely crafted, occult-oriented, melodic heavy metal of the highest order”, as well as Guitar World Magazine who claim that “On their sophomore album, Sweden’s retro-minded metallers In Solitude summon the dark essence of Mercyful Fate and the two-guitar attack of Iron Maiden. Guitarists Niklas Lindstrom and Henrik Palm’s heavy riffing and tasty harmonies propel this head-banging disc.” Two years of touring in support of The World.The Flesh.The Devil has earned the band a global fan base. Fans have seen the band on tour on a myriad of European festivals, in the UK with Amon Amarth, as well as in North America as a part of the Decibel Magazine Tour, as well as on tour with metal legends, Down. 2013 and beyond will see continued growth of one of metal’s best newcomers.

Pelle Åhman- Vocals
Niklas Lindström – Electric Guitar
Henrik Palm – Electric Guitar
Gottfrid Åhman – Electric Bass Guitar
Uno Bruniusson – Drums

In Solitude premiere new single “Pallid Hands” on Decibel Magazine’s Deciblog

 

In Solitude premiere new single “Pallid Hands” on Decibel Magazine’s Deciblog!

Band graces the cover of upcoming issue of Decibel Magazine out October 3

Head over to the Deciblog to check out the new single “Pallid Hands” from Swedish classic heavy metal band, In Solitude. The band’s new album Sister is dropping in North America on 10/01 and will be available to fans digitally, on CD, and 180gram black vinyl. Fans can check out the first single and title track “Sister” at MetalBlade.com/InSolitude.

Fans can also pick up the upcoming issue of Decibel Magazine, November issue #109-outOctober 3, which features In Solitude on the cover which was shot by internationally-renowned metal and rock photographer Ester Segarra in Sweden. If you aren’t already a subscriber you can check your local bookstore or order from Decibel directly at the following location.

“Sister” was recorded at Studio Cobra in Stockholm, Sweden during March 2013. The album was produced and mixed by Martin “Konie” Ehrencrona and stands as a logical next step above and beyond its predecessor, “The World.The Flesh.The Devil.” In Solitude’s strength resides in their ability to craft dark and oppressive atmospheres within the auditory realm of classic heavy metal. “Sister” compounds this trademark sound further, beginning with the acoustic intro, “He Comes,” and saturates the record in an aura of uniqueness; see: “Lavender”and the title track.

The album concludes with an 8-minute, driving, near trance-like opus that features guest guitarist Pelle Forsberg (Watain). Additionally, Jarboe of Swans fame can be heard on “Horses in the Ground.” Moods range from Mercyful Fate-esque guitar flavors, shadows of Black Sabbath, the heavy dissonance of Swans, to straightforward, earworm riffs. In any case, one thing can be said for certain: their delivery is as genuine as it is impressive.

North American fans will have an opportunity to see In Solitude live this Fall. The band will be supporting Watain on their “Wild Hunt” tour beginning on October 8th in New York City. The tour also features support from Tribulation. Dates can be found below, as well as onfacebook.com/insolitudeofficial.

“Sister” track listing:
1. He Comes
2. Death Knows Where
3. A Buried Sun
4. Pallid Hands
5. Lavender
6. Sister
7. Horses in the Ground
8. Inmost Nigredo

IN SOLITUDE
w/ Watain, Tribulation
10/08 New York, NY Irving Plaza
10/09 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
10/10 Worcester, MA The Palladium
10/11 Montreal, QC Foufounes Electriques
10/12 Toronto, ON Opera House
10/14 Detroit, MI Magic Stick
10/15 Chicago, IL The Bottom Lounge
10/16 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock Social Club
10/18 Denver, CO Marquis Theater
10/19 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue
10/21 Seattle, WA Studio Seven
10/22 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre
10/23 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
10/25 Oakland, CA Oakland Metro Opera House
10/26 Los Angeles, CA The Vex
10/27 Phoenix, AZ Rocky Point Cantina
10/28 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
10/30 Austin, TX Red 7
10/31 New Orleans, LA Siberia
11/01 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
11/02 Charlotte, NC The Casbah
11/03 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage

http://www.metalblade.com/insolitude
http://www.facebook.com/insolitudeofficial

WATAIN signs worldwide deal with Century Media Records

Century Media Records is proud to welcome Swedish black metal extremists WATAIN to its worldwide family. Legitimately labeled as genre leaders, deservedly awarded with a Swedish Grammy, playing the world’s biggest stages and touring the globe constantly while reaching numerous top positions in the annual reader’s polls, WATAIN have worked hard and achieved a lot over the past years despite successfully ignoring any kind of conformity and concession to the metal mainstream. Unrivaled in their unwillingness to compromise and clear artistic vision, WATAIN are most befittingly described with the title of BATHORY’s third opus – “Blood Fire Death”, a fact they never fail to underline with their infamous live shows: The stench of rotting animal cadavers, the inferno of candelabras and torches, chalices of blood, darkness and death – WATAIN are a full scale attack on all sensory organs. In days of toothless, sterile, family-friendly metal they embody danger and dread and are rewarded with a maximum of support and appreciation.

WATAIN comments:
“We are writing this from a magical place of desolation and desert-like vastness, where wondrous things are at this very moment taking place. Things that will come to colour our world as well as yours in the strangest hues for many years to come. We are entering this new chapter of WATAIN with a will and confidence to make it the most diverse and rememberable so far. And with the things that we have in mind for the future, it looks like it will be just so. Just wait and see, f***ers! Loud and terrible shall the trumpets of Devils sound…”

“Century Media is massively excited to work with WATAIN. This band has it all: charisma, the firm will to conquer the world, and an authenticity you rarely find these days. Mixed with their creativity and musical impact – this band will make it to the top. They are a healthy slap in the face for any Metal Bourgeois. We are ready to kill for them!” says Antje Lange, General Manager Century Media Europe

“I am very proud and excited to welcome WATAIN to the Century Media family. There are few bands that remind me of when I first discovered metal as a teenager that could give me the same feeling of extreme release and evil such as SLAYER, VENOM and MERCYFUL FATE did. WATAIN is one of those rare bands and I look forward to being a part of their growing career and helping today’s future metalhead find their way!” adds Don Robertson, President Century Media USA.

Formed back in 1998, the first two albums Rabid Death’s Curse (2000) and Casus Luciferi (2003) established the band firmly within the underground scene whereas Sworn To The Dark (2007) and especially Lawless Darkness (2010) helped them conquer a wider audience making them one of the most talked about acts in recent years. Musically rooted in classic black metal inspired by the likes of VENOM, HELLHAMMER, BATHORY, MAYHEM, DISSECTION as well as the grandeur of old IRON MAIDEN, METALLICA, RAINBOW, it is the larger-than-life aesthetics and total dedication to their art that elevates WATAIN beyond almost any other extreme metal band out there. WATAIN is satanic metal at its most frightening and fascinating.

After celebrating their 13th anniversary with the release of the DVD/double live album Opus Diaboli (2012) under the band’s own imprint His Master’s Noise, followed by an US tour with BEHEMOTH, THE DEVIL’S BLOOD and IN SOLITUDE earlier this year plus celebrated shows at Wacken and Bloodstock Open Air, 2013 will see the release of WATAIN’s much anticipated fifth studio album via His Master’s Noise in collaboration with Century Media Records. Beware!

WATAIN online:
http://www.templeofwatain.com