The European metal scene has never been healthier, as each week reveals more and more bands to fall in love with. Belgium Symphonic rockers Solitude Within can rightly stake their claim as part of the leading pack with their 2017 release ‘Disappear’. Led by multi-instrumentalist JP Laffarague and singer/keyboard player Emmelie Avents, the band have created an album filled with sweeping soundscapes that can both bruise and soothe.
‘Fade Away’ sets out their stall and with its jabbing keys and guitar it is imbued with a Middle Eastern vibe that is counterpointed by lush vocals and a gentle piano. An epic chorus and the heavy, crunching guitarwork take it into territory that perfectly mixes both the classical and modern sounds of the genre to great effect. This theme is continued in the next track ‘Blame’, which could easily be the music for Game of Thrones as it conjures up pictures of swooping dragons and raging battlefields.
With it’s church bells and chanting, ‘Morrigan’ has a much darker atmosphere, Avents vocals switching between epic and urgent and their occasional sweetness adding to the un-nerving feeling of a sinister force.
Tender ballad ‘Fly’ provides a momentary interval of lightness before the stupendous ‘Burn’ kicks in. A siren call of warning, it’s a paeon of obsession where utter dominance is both threatened and guaranteed. Guitars crush and wail in a fierce maelstrom that mark this as a real highlight of the album. There are pleasing echoes of Amy Lee and Evanesence in ‘Disappear’ and ‘In My Mind’ is full of a similar overwhelming power and melody.
The drama is really ramped up with gothic love song ‘Eternal Flame’, all suppressed passion and Victorian era ghosts and both ‘Turn Away’ and ‘Paralyzed’ kick in with a heavier feel that again shakes the dust from the speakers.
The former also benefits from additional growling vocals from bass player/co-songwriter Quincy Van Overmeire and a Celtic keys solo amid the wash of strings, adding another depth to the material. Once more the orchestral side of the band is shown as ‘Into the Dark’ brings things to a dramatic end with a track that twists and turns, showing off the unique style of Solitude Within and gives them their individual voice amongst their counterparts.
It would be interesting to see how they could translate all this atmosphere into a live show, but, for now, get this album and be prepared to be transported to another world. ****
Review by Paul Monkhouse
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 March 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 23 March 2021.
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Featured Albums w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GARY HUGHES Decades (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 METALITE A Virtual World (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 KAT DANSER One Eye Open (indie)
Power Plays w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)
ALTZI Point Of No Return (RA Music)
DIRTY LACES Breathe (Golden Robot Records)
ASHEN MOON Ashen Moon (Golden Robot Records)
ANDREWW Shadow Love (indie)
JORDAN RED Freak Show (indie)
HAYES & Y Empty Orchestra (indie)
KELSEY BOVEY Another World (indie)
NEPTUNE RAIN We Breathe The Same (indie)
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