Solium Fatalis – The Undying Season (Galy Records)Thursday, 29th January 2015
After checking out New Hampshire’s Excrecor last year, it only seemed natural to start following Solium Fatalis as well, since they share two band members (vocalist Jeff DeMarco and guitarist Ehren Hill). Low and behold, about one year after Excrecor’s Hypnotic Affliction, we are looking at the latest from Solium Fatalis with The Undying Season. It’s surprising that this upcoming release has been flying so far under the radar to this point, as this heap of death metal goodness also features Cryptopsy’s drummer extraordinaire Flo Mounier and bassist Olivier Pinard.
Fans of Hypocrisy will feel quite at home with The Undying Season. Solium Fatalis like to carry a dark and sinister guitar sound and really nail the mid-tempo, thunderous riff approach to blackened death metal. Certainly things vary in tempo and pacing (as they should), but easily headbang-able and memorable riffs are what are going to bring you back for repeated listens (see “Contagion”). There are also a number of melodies and leads that weave their way into the mix, with “An Asylum for Penitence” and “Corruptor” being some of the highlights. In contrast, there are moments of massive brutality that are enhanced by Mounier’s drum presence, like the frantic approach to “Paths to Obliteration.” It’s quite clear that Solium Fatalis know how to bring the complete death metal picture into focus, rather than just utilizing one specific approach.
While the formula may seem familiar, there’s no faulting Solium Fatalis’ execution here. The Undying Season successfully merges the bludgeoning force of death metal with just enough melody to keep things interesting over the long term. Being able to capture that essence without turning it into a more “commercially-friendly” atmosphere is no easy feat to master; let’s hope that some more heads are turned towards the band with this one. Solium Fatalis are a force to be reckoned with.