Itís strange that Iím quite as impressed by this band as I am, given that this is Death Metal of a more simple (or more less technical at least) nature than I am used to. Whatever it is, these guys play Death Metal in such a chugging relentless manner that any normal fan of the genre couldnít help but like.
There is a short introduction to the band on the homepage of their website, which states ďThere is no band to fully relate them to and there are so many styles in their music that it would be impossible to compare them to one band aloneĒ. So many times bands have said this about themselves despite such a comment having no relevance to the band in question, but on this rare occasion I would agree with this statement when used to describe SOLACE OF REQUIEM. My mind seems to have lost all ability to draw comparison to other bands but itís obvious that the 90s Death Metal scene as a whole is a big influence. Other than this there are numerous outside or non-metal influences which help to give this album enough character to stick out of a crowd.
Also to return to my previous comment about technicality, once I had given ďUtopia RebornĒ a few spins it does become apparent, especially with the subtle jazz influences, that these guys are also quite talented musicians and although this isnít any CRYPTOPSY in terms of speed or amount of notes, there are some damn fine guitar licks dotted about the place, and for once I can actually pick out the bass guitar from the mix, which pleases me greatly. There are a few solos every now and then, and after having heard one song from the bands previous album, guitarist Chris Young has gained some more talent especially in reference to putting more thought into what notes heís hitting. Jeff Sumrell, who is the man responsible for the bass guitar work, also makes an excellent vocalist, mixing fairly low growls smoothly with some medium pitched shouting and some intermittent singing too.
Iím not going to pick out any highlight tracks, and perhaps thatís my one problem with the album Ė nothing really, really stands out, but I donít mind just running the album from start to finish and enjoying the heaviness as a whole. And thatís what this album is good for, a fulfilling 45 minutes of enjoyable metal.
(Online December 1, 2006)