Once again, leave it to Sweden to blast forth another stellar heavy metal band that dips into the well of classic bands from the '70s & '80s and delivers a fresh sounding product. Metal Blade's In Solitude draws from such influences as Mercyful Fate, Black Sabbath, Danzig, Pentagram, and even The Cure on their latest Sister, swirling all those influences into a spooky, ominous, dark sounding platter of alluring heavy rock sounds.
Lead vocalist Hornper doesn't quite go for the King Diamond high pitched shrieking, but he does toil in King's mid range style quite well, which fits these airy, guitar fueled songs quite well. Doomy, but not pummeling, psychedelic, but not meandering, hard rocking, but not bluesy, is the best way to describe this rather unique album. "A Buried Sun" bounces along like a darker, heavier version of some of the '80s British acts like The Cure and The Smiths, complete with shimmering chords and powerful vocals, while "Death Knows Where" and "He Comes" are textured metal tracks that follow along in that early Fate style with just a hint of Sabbath doom bubbling under the surface. "Pallid Hands" is a eerie slice of avant-garde metal with a chilling vocal for a great effect and superb melodic guitar lines. The haunting "Lavender" just sends chills with its great guitar work, and the title track features churning metallic riffing over which Hornper soars to the heavens. "Horses in the Ground" reminds me of Ghost B.C. a bit (not a bad thing), while "Inmost Nigredo" is probably the most doom laden track here, littered with crushing riffs, atmosphere, and just dripping melancholy. Nice use of some black metal styled tremolo picked guitar riffs on this one as well as a screaming lead solo.
I'm actually surprised this one didn't wind up on Metal Blade's sister label Rise Above, as it pretty much fits right in with that they've been releasing over there, but in the end it matters not, as this is some killer stuff no matter where it resides. Quite different and very enjoyable- a band to watch closely!
01. He Comes
02. Death Knows Where
03. A Buried Sun
04. Pallid Hands
07. Horses in the Ground
08. Inmost Nigredo