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Eye of Solitude: Sui Caedere

I stumbled on this band totally by chance. I was looking for funeral doom metal with vocalists that provide some of the most inhuman low growls you could ever hear: vocals in the style of AHAB, Evoken, Ataraxie, Worship, Tyranny, and so on. However, I was recommended to check out the UK band Eye of Solitude with a note of caution: they play melodic doom-death, not funeral doom, but the singer is awesome.

I ordered Sui Caedere (Latin for "suicide") and was impressed tremendously with Romanian vocalist Daniel Neagoe. He delivers some of the most tortured, deeply pain-ridden growls you could ask for. Obviously he's also been involved in many other bands like Tiarra, My Shadow, and Unfathomable Ruination, though I'm not familiar with any of them. The vocals on this disc are easily the standout element: often times, the music will come to a halt, adding lush keyboard textures, distant acoustic guitars, and tense silences to the mix, and then Neagoe's vocals emerge out of nowhere, erupting into chaos and sorrow at the same time. The synth tones rise and completely wrap his voice while the guitars churn out intensely melodic themes.

Think the first Paradise Lost album in terms of riffing and Amorphis' Tales from the Thousand Lakes in terms of melody construction. However, the melodies are more 'modern' sounding and, therefore, could also be likened to another Finnish band, Swallow the Sun circa Hope. Other reference points might by Saturnus, Daylight Dies' more melodic moments, Soulfallen's icy acoustic guitar playing as well as My Dying Bride's earliest (and best) doom-death period. The second track is actually the best tune to represent their sound. It starts off with very low-tuned guitars, static drumming before a melodic guitar theme develops slowly until it takes over. The vocals are insane. At some point, everything slows down to the point of total silence, and then the vocals roll into the mix unexpectedly. This is the epitome of melodic doom-death. The all-too-sudden growl suggests suppressed feelings of grief, distress, and regret breaking free. Neagoe cries "There's no one here, there's nothing to fear," and raises the hairs on your neck! The drums then pick up tempo a la My Dying Bride and add nuance and texture. It only becomes heavier and more suffocating before fading into white noise. "The Haunting" is their most haunting song indeed.

Another standout track has got to be the album opener "Awoken by Crows" with its Blackwater Park-like thick guitar chords and epic sound coupled with some of the deepest growls you can imagine. Unfortunately, the rest of the album falls short: the songs begin to sound samey (despite the amazing vocals) and when they do try to spice things up with the 13-minute epic "Those Who Don't Return," the main guitar theme sounds too polished to establish the necessary atmosphere, and frankly, the song is too keyboard-heavy for my tastes. I love my doom best when it is slow (*very* slow) and contains super heavy riffs supplied by guitars where keyboards are pretty much nonexistent or just there as a texture. From there, the drums are allowed to speed the song up and slow it back down, throw in unexpected fills or cymbal splashes, or cut out entirely, only to return later on.

I've never heard Eye of Solitude's first album but would definitely recommend this one to anyone who enjoys melodic doom metal with some of the best death vocals in the genre.

Track Listing

  1. Awoken by Crows
  2. The Haunting
  3. Strigoi 04:38
  4. A Note to Say Farewell
  5. Depths of a Sick Mind
  6. Those Who Don't Return
  7. Performed in Graphic Pain
  8. Totem of a Pagan Thought
  9. Yet I Breathe
  10. Departure

Added: September 10th 2012
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Eye of Solitude @ Facebook
Hits: 3379
Language: english

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Eye of Solitude: Sui Caedere
Posted by Kim Jensen, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-09-10 08:08:11
My Score:

Heavy metal music distinguishes itself from more mainstream types of popular music via its focus on darker emotions, such as anger, fear, hate and so on. Within the universe of heave metal, doom metal sets itself apart from most other metal genres by not focusing on aggressive emotions, but rather on melancholy, sadness, sorrow, depression, solutide and the like. And, if there is one release that almost perfectly captures sadness, then it must be the British doom act Eye of Solitude's Sui Caedere.

While labeled a funeral doom band, Eye of Solitide's music never reaches the painfully slow rhythms otherwise associated with funeral doom (think, for instance, Mournful Congregation), but they do very successfully capture the painfully melancholic and near-depressive atmosphere of funeral doom metal. And, mind you that, in a doom metal context, describing music as painful is a complement! With songs that are generally longer than 7 minutes, The Eye of Solitude have taken their doom metal in a near-epic direction, and the use of darkly lush harmonies and atmoospheric synths contribute even more to this epic character.

While not as torturingly slow as a lot of other funeral doom metal, the music on Sui Caedere is still slow and heavy (although Eye of Solitude do venture into some near-blastbeat passages every now and then), and, most importantly, it captures the dirge-like melody of the funeral doom genre. In fact, Sui Caedere is a very melodic album, which is of course not unexpected if you are already a fan of funeral doom, but mainstream popheads might be taken totally aback by the many melodic guitar harmonies on this album (te pophead probably still won't get it, though).

So, yes, this is heavy, slow, melodic and depressive. Just my cup of tea. The only thing that is a bit of a turn-off to me on this album is the brutally growled vocals. I just do not think that the vocals fit the music the way it should sound in my world. At the end of the day, it all comes down to taste, and I feel like I should apologize to vocalist Daniel Neagoe and the rest of the band, because Neagoe's brutal growls are not bad at all – in fact, he would be perfect in a brutal death metal band, and his growling bears the same brutal quality as the of Mikael Åkerfeldt (and, in all honesty, his growles are much better than what you hear in so many other contemporary extreme metal bands). It is just that, I – for some reason – have a hard time appreciating growls in doom metal. This has nothing to do with Neagoe or the band, and I am sure that most other listeners will totally dig the combination of Neagoe's brutal growls and the melancholically melodic music of Eye of Solitude. So, please check it out for yourself.

Anyway, on the whole, Sui Caedere is a very well put together depressive doom metal release. The music is lush and has a rich texture, but it is dark and depressive, and painfully haunting (remember, in doom metal, painful is good). And, if you like brutal growls in doom metal, then you are definitely in for a treat.

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