Review by Sonny for Solitude Aeturnus - Alone (2006) Review by Sonny for Solitude Aeturnus - Alone (2006)

Sonny Sonny / September 06, 2022 / 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.

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