Solitude Aeturnus
In Times of Solitude
Style: Doom Metal
Release date: 15 July, 2011
Playing time: 54:44

“It came upon one night
On land the seas had turned
Typhoons swept with certain death
Air began to burn”

The above 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 purchase.

01. It Came Upon One Night (demo version - 1988)
02. Transcending Sentinels (demo version - 1988)
03. Into Battle (demo version - 1988)
04. Sojourner (demo version - 1988)
05. Where Angels Dare To Tread (demo version - 1988)
06. Rememberance of a Life (rehearsal session - 1987)
07. And Justice For All (live at Joe’s Garage - 1988)
08. Sojourner (rehearsal session - 1988)
09. Mirror of Sorrow (demo tape - 1988)
Label: Massacre Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 13 July, 2011