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Reviews
Toward Darkness - Solemn
Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 01:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Sage

Solemn

Artist: Toward Darkness United States

Title: Solemn

Label: Twilight Foundation Canada

Genre: Funeral Doom Metal / Ethereal

01 The Summit
02 Contentment
03 Nine Faces
04 Continuity Error
05 Alone
06 Despair
07 Untitled (Hidden)

One of the best feelings on Earth has to be receiving and absolutely brilliant metal record from a label that doesn't release metal. Twilight Foundation, a new Canada label on the doom metal front, is in fact a sublabel of Cyclic Law whom are known for their dark ambient material. In a time when metal as a whole seems to be going into a continuous downward spiral of originality and musicianship, we continuously are surprised by these metal sublabel offshoots of genuine non-metal labels. Some of you may perhaps remember a brilliant black metal album released by a Cold Spring sublabel, Satanas Rex and reviewed here only on the last issue. This is yet another example of this unseen development. So we encourage them to continue! For the love of [insert random deity here], we all know that the metal scene desperately needs these new faces on all sides of every coin. With that said, what better for a debut release from Twilight Foundation than this pearl lost at the bottom of the Canada metal ocean.

It is assumed though that those familiar with the Canadian sludge scene of the past few years should remember this band from their prior name – The Mass – whom coincidentally enough only released one album... “Towards Darkness.” Strangely, Solemn seems to float a bit between genres of doom metal as we currently know them. The vocals and guitar rhythmic values give it the slight appeal, while the droning characteristics and slightly eerie keyboards give it the feeling of funeral doom, but these combinations give the music a personality that eludes much of any kind of labeling at all. All that it can really be considered is ethereal doom metal.

Productions-wise, this is about as top quality as a doom release is going to get. Where the sludgey atmosphere generally takes over the sound creating extreme static, these guitar riffs are crushing yet clean, maintaining the structure of the frequencies without compromising the bass-end. There is also amazement to be found at the production quality of the drums themselves. Just about everything is in perfect condition production-wise, musicianship-wise, and talent-wise. If you listen closely, you can also follow the background noise of the album that sometimes makes you feel like you're back in the game Diablo (the original one that you could beat in one night, not the second one that took you half your life to get through). It really is pretty much that dark.

So here it is, a new label, a new band, damn near a new subgenre in “funeral sludge”. Folks, you don't want to pass this one up because for all you know, this could be a test to 'see if the label works'. This is some damn fine music, and both band and label need your support. Do not leave this one behind.

     



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