Solace of Requiem
Casting Ruin

If you have “EPIC FUCKING BRUTALITY” emblazoned across the inner sleeve of your album, you had better fucking follow through and luckily Virginia’s Solace of Requiem do on their impressive, fourth effort, Casting Ruin.

Though their fourth album, this is my first encounter with the band  (Richard GulczynskiJeff Sumrell and Dave Tedesco- also unfamiliar to me despite involvement in a few other projects)  and their epic brutality is a form of highly technical black/death metal layered with keyboards. My initial comparison is Scholomance meets Agiel as the black metal is tightly wound and intricate with some very high register main vocals (reminding me of Atheist meets Epoch of Unlight at times). Then the death metal side is a few deeper growls and and a much more death metal based percussive assault and of course some sweeping but not overbearing synths.

Despite  a production that is a bit dry and  drum sound that sound programmed, and synths that are pretty hollow  (Fleshgod Apocalypse or SepticFlesh this is not) oh, and that cover….. , it somehow all works very well, resulting in a pleasantly surprising and dare I say in this say and age, unique album I ended up coming back to quite a bit. The intense vocal delivery is intellectually fierce and the riffs are a swirling, dizzying intricate vortex that rarely settle into a single moment for more than a few bars, inherent to tech death metal. But there is a cold, high pitched gleam to them that retains some black metal aesthetic even if fractured and shattered.

Each of the songs offers up a little something different, but I rather enjoyed the controlled march that starts “Soiling the Fields of Putridity” and the surprisingly introspective “Wading into Mire” and the mechanically tinged “Heaving Bile and Ash”. Atheist again comes up as point of reference for the killer penultimate track “Pools of Ablation”.

Much like the recent Humul Tabat album, this is a great little surprise from an American black metal act that’s forging an unique path and sound, flaws and all. Go check them out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 2nd, 2014


  1. Commented by: Scott Alisoglu

    Exceedingly well done, Erik…as always. Thanks!

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