The Texas doomsters Solitude Aeturnus returned with their sophomore effort Beyond the Crimson Horizon in 1992, which proved to be their last for Roadrunner Records before moving to Pavement and ultimately Massacre Records on future releases. This second album is a direct continuation of the debut Into the Depth of Sorrow, with even more epic arrangments, heavier riffs, and powerful, confident vocals.
The music of the band still drew on influences from bands like Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Fates Warning, Trouble, and St. Vitus, but there is some newfound speed (just a little) that brings to mind early Savatage on this album. "Black Castle" throws in some intricate rhythms from drummer John Covington and bassist Lyle Steadham, who squeeze in some wild moments in between the lumbering guitar riffs from Edgar Rivera and John Perez. Lead vocalist Robert Lowe has really matured on this album, as his histrionic vocal attack soars and roars on tracks such as "Seeds of the Desolate" and "Final Sin", two pieces that sees the band in general sounding so on top of their game and so in command of their style that it's hard not to be completely rivited to the sounds that come out of your speakers. Creepy keyboards lead in the ominous "It Came Upon One Night", a mountainous dirge of Sabbathian greatness, complete with some of the most impressive guitar riffs ever. If there ever was a bastard child of Black Sabbath circa Masters of Reality and Awaken the Guardian era Fates Warning, this tune is it. The Middle Eastern tinged "Hourglass" is one herculean and very progressive number, while the atmospheric and psychedelic "Beneath the Fading Sun" contains acoustic guitars, crushing riffs, and emotional vocals. "Plague of Procreation" is a rumbling number with shuffling rhythms and chugging guitar work, and contains lyrics that talk about the battles that will lead to man's ultimate demise. Both Rivera and Perez throw in some wild guitar solos on this one, as each one show what a master craftsman they both are. The closer is doom metal all the way, one hell of a beefy, brontosaurus styled crusher, featuring the album's slowest, most evil sounding riffs.
Beyond the Crimson Horizon is quality stuff all around, and one of doom metal's unsung classics. Hopefully with these new remasters from Metal Mind Productions, Solitude Aeturnus can finally be recognized and appreciated as one of the bands that helped bring doom back in the late 80's and early 90's along with Candlemass and Trouble. This one's as good as Nightfall and The Skull from those two bands-check it out.
1. Seeds of the Desolate
2. Black Castle
3. Final Sin
4. It Came upon One Night
6. Beneath the Fading Sun
7. Plague of Procreation
9. City of Armaggedon (demo)- bonus track
10. It Came Upon One Night (demo)- bonus track