Solitude Aeturnus - Alone (2006)Release ID: 1975

Solitude Aeturnus - Alone (2006) Cover
Sonny Sonny / September 06, 2022 / Comments 0 / 1

Although I am fairly familiar with Solitude Aeternus' earlier albums, specifically the first three, for some reason I have never listened to Alone before it's appearance as September 2022's featured release for The Fallen. Well, kudos to Ben for sharing this one because it has inserted itself, in short order, as my favourite Solitude Aeternus album and indeed one of the best doom releases of the 2000s.There will be an instant familiarity for anyone raised on Candlemass, Solstice and Isole with the songs sounding huge and immensely powerful, but here they take the epic doom of their contemporaries and imbue it with a degree of melancholy that feels like it seeped over from Warning's Watching From A Distance (although Alone was released a month before Patrick Walker's magnum opus, so this is mere fancy on my part, but the analogy still holds).

The band are on absolute top form and turn in a performance of unrivalled confidence, with special mention to vocalist Rob Lowe whose vocals are stunning and a measure of Lowe's impressiveness is that he was selected to become the new vocalist for Candlemass at around the time of Alone's release. Check out opener and album highlight Scent of Death and the ending of the track, where his vocals perfectly evoke a middle-eastern atmosphere, for an illustration of his ability to transport the listener to other realms solely with the power of his voice. I must admit, I do love to hear arabic or middle eastern vibes on metal albums and wish it was a direction more bands would explore. Here it also continues into the second track, Waiting for the Light, where the guitars trace a middle eastern motif during the earlier section of the track. The two guitarists, John Perez and Steve Moseley, both also turn in terrific performances, their thundering, ultra-heavy riffs being counterpointed by virtuoso soling that would make many a heavy metal guitar hero raise their eyebrows in surprise.

Overall, Alone is the whole doom metal package, with great, epic-sounding and atmospheric tracks imbued with a haunting melancholy that inspires both awe and sorrow simultaneously and is a superb illustration of why I personally love doom metal.

UnhinderedbyTalent UnhinderedbyTalent / September 18, 2022 / Comments 0 / 0

As I have commenced my exploration of The Fallen clan it seemed sensible to pass comment on this month’s feature release, especially given the high praise it has received to date. The caveat I must add here is that I have sampled Solitude Aeturnus before now and found them not entirely to my liking. I saw these guys come up as a recommendation when searching for bands like Candlemass (who remain my benchmark in doom whom I usually chart my forays from). Stylistically the comparisons are usually spot on I must admit but considering the first four Candlemass albums are my genre-defining releases, Solitude Aeturnus have a lot to live up to.

On Alone I must comment on how nu-metal I find Rob Lowe’s vocals. Not to say that this is alternative or nu-metal in anyway, but I get flashbacks to listening to the likes of Life of Agony back in the 90s. That low vocal tone looms through in the slower moments and I cannot help but think of the sound of that very different sub-genre of metal music. Whilst we are on about the vocals, I do also find them incredibly whiny on here. Now, I know that is sort of the point and they are done deliberately like this to emphasise the melancholy of the music. However, whilst I can acknowledge the fine set of pipes that Mr Lowe possesses, I do find the vocals to be a real bug bear of mine.

It is not even as if the riffs rescue proceedings entirely. Huge though they are (and with a decidedly eastern/oriental theme to them for the initial few tracks here) I find that they are too melodic for most of the record, and I do find myself longing for the more heavy and bruising style of riffs I normally associate with this type of music. Rarely during the hour-long runtime of Alone do I feel like I encounter anything monolithic in terms of a crushing wall of doom, in fact for most of the time it plays like a heavy metal record with a heavy doom metal influence. Moments such as the opening of Is There and the Black Sabbath riff that opens Tomorrows Dead do fill me with hope but are mostly just empty promises.

Although it is all done well enough, I just do not fell that the band ever get beyond a jog here and that they should be capable of more given their obvious stature in the field of doom.  Maybe with my recent departure from The Guardian clan, Alone is too near to that sound for my comfort nowadays and it would have perhaps sat better had I discovered it some years ago.  Epic though it is, this record is somehow not captivating enough overall and I almost want to like it more than I actually do.

Daniel Daniel / September 05, 2022 / Comments 0 / 0

I actually hadn't ever checked out a full Solitude Aeturnus record until now but was really excited coming in as I've loved what I've heard through the monthly playlists & "Alone" certainly hasn't left me disappointed. This is one absolutely monolithic doom metal record of astronomical proportions. Every track is pure class. The production job is superb, the performances are spot on & the cover art is as imposing as you'd hope for such a depressive gem. Front man Robert Lowe would have to be right up there with the best metal vocalists I've ever encountered with his powerful delivery placing him right in the sweet spot between Ronnie James Dio & my favourite vocalist of all time in Soundgarden's Chris Cornell. The guitar solos offer a super-pure tone & are performed with true precision, even hinting at Yngwie Malmsteen-esque theatrics at times. As with their epic doom counterparts Candlemass, the classic heavy metal sound has clearly been an influence on Solitude Aeturnus but the band's doom credentials are never in question with even the more chuggy, mid-paced metal riffs possessing enough weight to satisfy even the most selective of doom tragics. When you've got a tracklisting this strong it's often hard to pick out highlights but not on this occasion with opener "Scent of Death" being one of the greatest doom epics ever recorded & "Waiting for the Light" & "Upon Within" also sitting comfortably amongst the top tier of the doom crop. "Alone" is a wonderful example of the epic doom metal sound & can be seen as a celebration of everything that's great about the subgenre.

For fans of Candlemass, Crypt Sermon & Solstice.


Release info

Release Site Rating

Ratings: 6 | Reviews: 3


Release Clan Rating

Ratings: 5 | Reviews: 3


Cover Site Rating

Ratings: 7


Cover Clan Rating

Ratings: 6

The Fallen
Doom Metal

Doom Metal (conventional)

Voted For: 0 | Against: 0