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Solace of Requiem: Casting Ruin

The follow-up to The Great Awakening, Casting Ruin is the fourth full-length effort from the American death metal act Solace of Requiem. As the listener will quickly realize upon listening to the album, Solace of Requiem's brand of death metal falls under the rubric of technical death metal.

The opener 'Defiling the Spectrum' pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the abum with its flurries of blastbeats and mind-boggling shifts and changes, sprinkled with sweeps and hyper-technical riffage. Thus, pretty much all the technical death metal clichés are to be found on the album, and it might be tempting to write it off – like I almost did after my first listen – as impressive but not really innovative. However, such a rejection would be too hasty, for Solace of Requiem actually do take their music beyond mere instrumental wankery. To their credit, they successfully integrate elements from black metal, including screechy vocals (which are in interplay with guttural growls) and melodic tremolo-picking. Thus, the band manage to generate a bit of atmosphere which stands in both interesting contrast and balance with the brutality of the technical death metal elements. To top off an onslaught of blackened brutality, the listener is treated to a mesmerizing instrumental in the form of 'Bio-Alchemy'.

Naturally, the level of musicianship is very high, and the instrumental performance is top notch across the board. The vocal style combines screechy screams with guttural growls, and here I actually prefer the former. The production is okay, but it could be a fad more well-defined.

Fans of technical death metal should definitely check out Casting Ruin, because it feature all the stalwart features of technical death metal (as well as the more clichéd ones), but also brings fresh blood and new elements into the genre.

1. Defiling the Spectrum
2. Casting Ruin
3. Soiling the fields Of Putridity
4. Song Of Shards
5. Wading Into Mire
6. Eroded Absolution
7. Heaving Bile And Ash
8. Pools Of Ablation
9. Bio-Alchemy

Added: August 12th 2014
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: Artist's official website
Hits: 1858
Language: english

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