Solace Of Requiem – Casting Ruin (2014) – The fourth album from these Virginian technical death/black metallers puts an obvious technical spin on the mixture of black and death metal that I previously described with Emblazoned. But these guys are a definite march away from Emblazoned, as they chunk huge helpings of technicality into these each these tracks, which almost sounds industrial at times due to the drum approach. In further reading, I’m going to have to test this multi-song theory (which states that if you were to pan your speakers to the left or to the right, you would hear two different songs, which culminate together to bring the illusion of a third song) by panning my speakers in just such an order, so that I can decide what version of these songs I like better. So technically, you’re not just getting nine tracks, but twenty-one depending on how your listen to it. That’s actually really cool. Supposedly the band came to this composition style through the study of binaural music. You know, what they refer to as “drugs.” I’ve tried some of these and all they did was make my head feel funny. Perhaps the metal version is far more interesting. So thanks Solace Of Requiem, for not only giving me an interesting record, but a really nifty science experiment. Looks like I’m going to be up a few extra hours tonight playing with music editing software.
For the most part, the record doesn’t beat around the bush about the kind of experience it is. Casting Ruin is definitely heavily calculated black/death that even though uses some triggered drumming in areas, still manages to come off rather good in retrospect. The band sounds bloodthirsty here, with the death growls intact and the screams coming off ravenous, just as we’d like. But the biggest part of this record is that they take more of a Decapitated or Anata approach to the music, allowing lighting fast 1’s and 0’s to be the main figure behind the sound. Melodies are used on the record, but they’re kind of all over the place and only really sit still when the guitar solos (which seem to borrow a lot from Cynic or Exivious) come into play. The record definitely bashes, pummels, bludgeons, eviscerates and uses all frightening manner of attack to get it’s point across, which should be a very welcome sight for most technically brutal people. But there’s one section that I noticed on the album that I really enjoy more than anything else, and it’s not technical at all (which goes to show you how much I like my tech.) This piece is displayed on “Heaving Bile And Ash 5:35” and it’s placed right between 2:20 and 3:58, showing some great synth work, a powerful set of melodies and a wonderful scowl performance. If the whole record was like that, I’d be shitting myself right now. This does show that Solace Of Requiem can really be any kind of band that they want, but it seems that technicality revolves over all. But that’s certainly not a good thing, just so long as I get my melodies and my groove, of which is definitely offered on this disc aside from the mass amounts of technicality. I will say that “Bio-Alchemy 3:06” proves a rather impressive instrumental though, showing that once again – these guys can really play any style that they want. There’s a lot to chew on here and apparently four albums brought quite a bit of experience to the table. I really wish that they wouldn’t play by the rules so much, but they are “technical black/death” regardless of all the synths and alternative structures that they utilize here. This being said, I would still highly recommend Casting Ruin because it shows a technical band that isn’t afraid to venture out of the over the top technicality territory completely. So if you’re looking for a technical band that isn’t afraid to break the rules a little (even though I wish they’d break them a little bit more) then you’re certainly going to find something here. I think there’s a real gem in Solace Of Requiem and most people haven’t heard it yet. But it’s also possible that some of their best tracks have already been made on the previous three albums. There’s some sleuthing work for you to do, while you’re soaking in this monster of a disc. Hopefully we’ll hear more from these guys and those old albums might get a better distribution. I think that people really need to hear this stuff to put it bluntly and that’s based on the performance on display here. These guys messed around with death metal, than progressive death and then got technical the first time, but this record really sees a good culmination of all of these sources. Definitely check it out.
(9 Tracks, 45:00)