Eye of Solitude – Canto III – Kaotoxin Records – Release 25 – 11 – 2013
Formed in London, UK in April 2010 Eye of Solitude cites among its influences My Dying Bride, Swallow the sun and Solitude Aeturnus, so you can probably already guess where this is heading. Severely brooding and despairing doom metal with a grand sound that will swallow you whole in its dark and sad world. Despite the often slow music Eye of Solitude has been very busy since its incarnation as this year marks the release of their third album, for which they called in the help of violinist Dmitry “Casper” Rishko and singer Anton Rosa of Dominia.
Eye of Solitude is:
Daniel Neagoe – Vocals
Indee Rehal-Sagoo – Guitars
Mark Antoniades – Guitars
Pedro Caballero Clemente – Keys
Chris Davies – Bass
Adriano Ferraro – Drums
Eye of Solitude hasn’t taken the easy road with this beast of an album. Despite there only being six songs, they manage to assault your ears and entrance your imagination for more than an hour. This is doom metal at its most expansive and bombastic. This compliments the lyrics perfectly, which are based on the classic “Dante’s Inferno”. Dante’s trip was not a happy one and the music reflects that. The first song, or rather the first act as they call it, “Between Two Worlds (Occularis Infernum)” starts off with a sombre tone and carries on this way for several minutes to lull you into a secure state before the band assaults your ears with its slow and brutally heavy doom metal. After dipping into the darkest recess of the band’s sound we drift upon a tranquil sea to be greeted by poetic text accompanied with sorrowful chanting. However, this proves to be just a short respite before we get pulled back into the ocean of sadness, now even more brutal and despairing than before with the band even going into more of a fast black metal sound. Finally there is a light at the end of the tunnel as the song ends on the same note that it started.
When the second act starts in “Where the Descent Began”, the band takes the title very literally and we are indeed greeted to a slow and dark descent. Did I already mention that this album was not a happy ride? The keyboards are almost hidden behind the wall of guitar sound, yet despite that they have a strong influence on the sorrowful tunes. Around the two and a half minute mark we are treated to true beauty with melancholic piano notes on a keyboard-created breeze of sadness, sad vocals and a lonely haunting violin. Especially when compared to the dark parts of the music, this is truly a tranquil and beautiful part. Due to this section it’s all the more effective when the full band pulls out all the stops again for a full-on battery of the ears. The slow descent has gone a lot faster all of a sudden until we finally land.
Act three, “He Who Willingly Suffers”, treats us to a sorrowful piano piece, shortly broken up with a brutal doom metal sound before continuing with the piano and adding spoken words to illustrate the story. You almost expect the music to continue this way, yet as the speaker grows more and more filled with grief the band takes a turn back to the brutal truth of the Inferno as illustrated by the music. Perhaps this trick might have grown old for some by now, but I feel that it’s been done is such a masterful way that I can’t help but really enjoy it. And if to break up the feeling of repetition we get treated to some great guitar solos.
The fourth act “The Pathway Has Been Lost” is a lot more melodic in nature than before, while still staying in the slow crawl of the heavier parts. It instantly gives the song more character and makes it stand out from the get-go. This gets broken up with a rather subdued part, only partly filled with spoken words and weeping which really manage to set the mood. When the music picks up again we get treated to another nice solo before we get to hear true hopelessness when the singer(s) get to shout out all their frustrations. The fifth act called “Sat in Silence” deserves a special mention for the multiple recorded clean vocals singing in tandem during the more tranquil part. By the time that the sixth act “In the Desert Vast” starts there’s nothing I can really say that sets apart by this song. By this time the full sound of the band has already been portrayed with great skill. Very heavy and beautiful parts are intertwined in such a way that each part stands its ground without ever feeling unwanted. Could the album have done without the last song? Possibly, but at the same time I’m glad that it is on there, if only to prolong the beauty that is Canto III.
Doom metal will not be everyone’s cup of tea and this album probably won’t change much about that. However, since you read this far you probably already enjoy said genre or you are at least interested in what it could give you. Well, Eye of Solitude gives you a good spoonful of sadness and heaviness. When listening to the album you will come to understand that you will probably only find such sorrowful music with this type of quality in (doom) metal and with certain composers of classical music. I can highly recommend giving this album a go and even if you think that doom metal is not your cup of tea it would be a good idea to just try it out and put the effort in it. It won’t be a happy ride, but it will be a fulfilling one.
Act I: Between Two Worlds (Occularis Infernum)
Act II: Where the Descent Began
Act III: He Who Willingly Suffers
Act IV: The Pathway Has Been lost
Act V: Sat in Silence
Act VI: In the Desert Vast
Score: 4.5 out of 5
Tekst Robert Popovic