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

Swedish Rockers MUSTACH to Release Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven February 26th

It’s quite impressive what MUSTACH has achieved: seven albums, a huge hit with “Double Nature”, sold-out tours of Scandinavia, opening- and headline tours with Motörhead, Gluecifer and cult-band Rose Tattoo in Europe as well as three Swedish Grammy Nominations and a Grammy Award for “Metal Album of the Year” in 2008.

After all this, the band reached a turning point. It would be full speed ahead focusing on the band or nothing at all. No half-hearted solutions, no compromises. All or nothing!

“That’s the way I work as a person, Ralf Gyllenhammar (guitarist/vocalist) explains over a cup of coffee a Tuesday morning in Stockholm. Drunk or sober, angry or happy, all or nothing, there are no in-betweens in my world.”

This time Ralf Gyllenhammar sat firmly in the producer´s chair, Martin Westerstrand did the artwork and Stefan Glaumann (Rammstein, Paradise Lost, Within Temptation) mixed the tracks.

Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven already has gold achieved gold status in Sweden. With the new drummer, Jejo Perkovid, MUSTACH bring their straight forward Heavy Rock to the rest of the world! In addition the 2011 10th anniversary album The New Sound of the True Best is released by Metalville Records at the same time.

Look for our review coming shortly!

Meshuggah Release Dimiurge Video

Swedish extreme-metal band Meshuggah have released a new video for the song “Dimiurge.”

“Meshuggah first attracted international attention with the 1995 release Destroy Erase Improve for its fusion of fast-tempo death metal, thrash metal and progressive metal with jazz fusion elements. Since its 2002 album Nothing, Meshuggah has used downtuned eight-string guitars. Meshuggah has become known for their innovative musical style, complex, polymetered song structures and polyrhythms. Meshuggah was labeled as one of the ten most important hard and heavy bands by Rolling Stone and as the most important band in metal by Alternative Press. Meshuggah has found little mainstream success as yet, but is a significant act in extreme underground music” (Wikipedia).

DARK TRANQUILLITY to Digitally Release ‘Zero Distance’ EP

Swedish melodic death metal legends DARK TRANQUILLITY will digitally release their Zero Distance EP on October 22nd in North America. Taken from the European tour edition of We Are The Void (2010), the five tracks on the EP are a must-have for any diehard DARK TRANQUILLITY fan. The track-listing for Zero Distance is below.

Zero Distance track-listing:
Zero Distance
Out Of Gravity
Star Of Nothingness
To Where Fires Cannot Feed
The Bow And The Arrow

DARK TRANQUILLITY had this to say about the EP and the immediate future of the band: “We are excited to offer the ‘Zero Distance’ EP to our US fans who missed out on being able to pick up the limited tour edition of ‘We Are The Void.’ We would also like to inform our fans that we’re are already working on songs for the new album and we plan to enter the studio after the ‘Metal Attack Over Europe’ tour with our label mates WARBRINGER! We expect to see a summer 2013 release of this new opus and we look forward to seeing everyone in the U.S. as we tour in support of this new release…”

DARK TRANQUILLITY is currently working on their 10th studio album, tentatively set for a summer 2013 release via Century Media Records. Stay tuned for more news about DARK TRANQUILLITY coming soon.

http://www.darktranquillity.com
http://www.myspace.com/dtofficial
http://www.twitter.com/dtofficial
http://www.facebook.com/dtofficial

GERMÁN PASCUAL Premieres New Music Video

Early this week A New Beginning the solo debut from GERMÁN PASCUAL was released on Nightmare Records. Today the first music video from the album has premiered on Nightmare Record’s YouTube Channel.
“If the Sky Would Fall” :

In conjunction with the album’s release, GERMÁN re-launched his official website and posted a full album stream of A New Beginning. Visit the new official site and get a first listen to A New Beginning at http://www.germanpascual.com.

GERMÁN PASCUAL is a man with a very special voice, he’s achieved notoriety around the world, lauded greatly and likened with the greatest melodic metal voices of our day. GERMÁN was the last voice of NARNIA, a well known Swedish melodic heavy metal band, similar to Stryper and Rob Rock. The new music is hard heavy and melodic power metal without compromise.

In 2009 the NARNIA album, Course of a Generation was launched. It was the 7th and final album from NARNIA since their beginning at 1996. GERMÁN also sings with DIVINEFIRE, where he shares the lead vocal with Christian Liljegren (ex-Narnia). They launched the album, Eye of the Storm in April 2011.

In January 2011 GERMÁN went on his first solo tour in Brazil, performing a few of the greatest hits of Narnia and also presenting some songs from his upcoming solo album. Now with A New Beginning GERMÁN is drawing plans to tour the world in support of his latest Metal opus.

A New Beginning is available for purchase on the Nightmare Records Website, Amazon and iTunes.

TRACKLIST:
01. Seek the Truth
02. The Wrath of God
03. If the Sky would Fall
04. Misty Dreams
05. Open Your Eyes
06. I Call for The One
07. Unbroken Wings
08. Come Ease the Pain
09. Fate of the Blind
10. Cancion Con Todos

For More Info Please Visit:
http://www.germanpascual.com/
http://www.facebook.com/g.pascual.vocal
http://www.twitter.com/germanpascual
http://www.myspace.com/germanpascual