Two decades on from their debut LP, Lamentations, and 15 years since its follow-up New Dark Age, British doom legends Solstice have yet to tackle that ‘difficult’ third album. That day, however, may be one step closer as they rouse themselves from slumber with this EP, their first recording in 13 years.
After three years or so of writing and rehearsing, the quintet – helmed by founding axeman Rich Walker – have finally deemed themselves ready for the studio, and the results do not disappoint. Featuring two 10-minute mini-epics bookended by a pair of rousing and atmospheric instrumentals, Death’s Crown… is forceful and invigorating.
Offering a blend of heroic trad metal and thundering doom, it’s a banner-waving, chest-beating call to arms that refuses to be ignored. In a decade that’s seen doom splinter into a byzantine blizzard of subgenres and sub-subgenres, it’s nice to dispense with posing and pretension and get a good old iron fist to the face.