Solstheim – II

Solstheim
II
July 2012
Black Metal
Self-Released

‘II’ is the debut EP from the Scottish black metal band Solstheim. It is the follow-up to their self-titled demo. Now Scotland is not a country that you would normally associate with black metal but given their proximity to Norway its within reason to suggest a possible Nordic influence in Solstheim’s chosen style…

So, after the dark ambient style ‘Intro’, it’s straight into some black metal with ‘The Alchemist’ offering a mix of fast guitar riffs and melodic/atmospheric undertones. Comparisons to fellow British black metal band Hoarstone and Satyricon spring to mind. ‘Of Sundered Stone and Earth’ sees a slight change in the speed, verging on doom metal/ambient climates at times. Luckily the guitar riffs and eerie vocals ensure that this song fits the overall tone of the EP whilst the drums at the end add to the creepy atmosphere.

Come to think of it, the term ‘atmospheric black metal’ seems like a fitting way to describe the whole album. Each track contains at least some elements of it ranging from the aforementioned ambience of ‘Of Sundered Stone and Earth’ to the faster, more ferocious-sounding ‘Aeon’.

4/5 – A very good debut from a promising black metal band.

Iza Raittila

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