“It came upon
On land the seas had turned
Typhoons swept with certain death
Air began to burn”
verses (from ‘It Came Upon One Night’) might not be a self-reference by Solitude
Aeternus but there’s no doubt that the band has had a huge impact on the Doom
Metal scene. And “In Times Of Solitude” was where it all started – the album
essentially being a repackaging of the long unavailable “And Justice For All”
demo-cassette of 1988 with a few extra rarities thrown in for good measure.
As one might
presume, the sound quality is rough. Besides, Robert Lowe’s singing is shaky at
times and the bass guitar too far back in the mix. Despite this, “In Times Of
Solitude” provides some hindsight on a band with compositional skills that back
then were already mature and solid. It’s a timeless pleasure to revisit the
earth-shattering way those guitar riffs interact with the band’s rhythm section,
and to hear electrifying guitar solos bursting through at propitious moments.
Songs such as ‘Where Angels Dare To Tread’ and ‘It Came Upon One Night’ indeed
epitomize the emotive bond between Doom Metal and the willing listener.
A live version
of ‘And Justice for All’ and a rehearsal recording of ‘Sojourner’ are painfully
recorded tracks that will appeal exclusively to SA fans. On the other hand, a
demo version of ‘Mirror Of Sorrow’ (which subsequently appeared in the band’s
debut album: “In Depths of Sorrow”) is a welcome memento of what must be one of
the greatest Doom Metal songs ever.
If you had
missed out on the “And Justice for All” demo or consider yourself to be a
serious Metal collector, then “In Times Of Solitude” is all the more an urgent