Embarrassing story: I heard a very cool track by a band called "SOLITUDE" and after performing a search, came up with a website for them. I emailed them, told them I liked their music and would like to review their demo if they had one. They were very cool and sent me this, whereupon I discovered this was NOT the band I thought it was, but a different band with the same name. Whoops. Fortunately I am saved by the fact that this is a very good demo anyway.
SOLITUDE are a Swedish band and as you might imagine, they play melodic Death Metal. But before you roll your eyes and skip this, I have to point out that SOLITUDE are not just aping the Gothenburg style, but are doing something of their own with it. There are a lot of touches here that add originality to the music, from the nice piano interludes that add a gothic touch to the acoustic guitar passages and even the occasional Black Metal flourish. The guitar sound is that treble-end, compressed tone that I associate with Black Metal and the vocals are a little screamy, but I really enjoy the riffing on this disc, as it never lapses into dull repetition but keeps things interesting with time changes, new riffs and moody interludes.
I don't know why this band isn't signed, as this is at least as good as most of the IN FLAMES clones cluttering up the landscape and far more original. With time in a real studio SOLITUDE could create a really cool album, as it's obvious some of their more grandiose ideas got choked off by their low budget. A band that deserves more attention and will bear watching. (Online December 10, 2003)