Having never been very knowledgeable of the Doom Metal-genre, I will forego the use of labels as much as possible on this particular review. I assume this album can be labelled Doom Metal, but it is OH-SO-MUCH MORE than that, to me anyway. Some parts can easily be compared to PINK FLOYD, others to early MY DYING BRIDE, and so on, but "Solinari", in itself, stands completely alone, just as it should be listened to, ALONE. No distractions, no inebriated friends nearby, no LIGHT, besides perhaps a candle or two. I myself have enjoyed countless nights of solitude in my darkened dormitory listening to "Solinari" all the way through, and let me just say, each was a uniquely unforgettable experience.
This is an album to drown yourself in, if you aren't one of those people who needs their Metal fast, furious, heavy, upbeat, complex, or any of the above, at all times. This album is far too textured and DEEP for anyone who can't stay in one place while listening to music, so thrashers and slashers, look elsewhere. But those of you with even a shred of openmindedness, please, stay awhile, I've got something to share, as do MORGION....
The aspect of albums such as this that is immediately striking to me is the wealth of DYNAMICS it contains. This band knows when to stomp you with slow, crushingly broooootal intensity, but before you know it, things have calmed to a whisper, and you are sedated with melancholy keyboard drones and overtly depressing guitar lines that are as intricately understated as...hmmm...tough metaphor on that one...This type of music HAS been done before, but rarely is it performed this well. The few albums that come to mind are TIAMAT's "Wildhoney" and ANATHEMA's "Eternity", but each of these albums are their own separate constellation, and the only resemblance they bare to one another is the immense emotion they convey to the (willing) listener. "Solinari" easily falls in this category. If you can imagine, the music is incredibly simple, but the portrait it paints in your mind is as complex and unique as...........DAMN IT...........I seem to be at a loss for words here....oh well....I've already heard the album, so I just "know" I guess......;)......
The vocals are basically two styles throughout: an ominous "spoken" tone, or rip-throated roars that haven't been done this well since "Spectral Sorrows"-era EDGE OF SANITY! Opening track "The Serpentine Scrolls" is a prime example. Beginning with subtle keys and an almost rudimentary-sounding guitar-tone, it suddenly morphs into a giant, pulsating MAMMOTH of some sort, and the immense magnitude of Jeremy Peto's vocals made me literally jump when I first heard it! Not to mention the production (!): beyond stellar, it is tailored to perfection! Listen closely and you will hear dozens of noticeable moments of sublimity in the production-category, and I stress the word LISTEN here, meaning OBTAIN THE ALBUM FIRST! Any of you Napster-junkies should NOT, I repeat, NOT commit the injustice of obtaining a song or two from this album just to hear what ONE of their songs sounds like! It will completely dilute the purpose of albums like this. "Solinari" is meant to be heard from start to finish, no track-skipping, no friends sitting nearby saying "dude this is, like, so depressing", and no girlfriend in the room wanting to make whoopee (although.....hmmm), you just have to give it your full undivided attention to reap the benefits (have I made this clear enough yet?!?!).
In the end, this is a beautiful expression of the role that tragedy plays in all our lives. From 0:01-52:49, one may feel a sense of "birth to death" in the musical format of this album, which I now understand was the artists' intention with this album in the first place, though I had gained that sense before I'd heard about this fact. It is a musical interpretation of the necessary sorrows and extremities that life will bring, and it is, simply put, tragic beauty. If you've read this far, get this album, follow my detailed instructions, and send all tokens of appreciation to firstname.lastname@example.org...(kidding......or am I?.......no really, I am......sort of.......)