In my last review I talked about Ghost and how they do an awesome job channeling the early Mercyful fate sound. I have to admit that it was all part of my evil master plan to then turn around and review In Solitude, another band that has been getting noticed and also gets compared to Mercyful Fate.
Like Ghost, In Solitude play metal that sounds like it just stepped out of a time machine from the 1980s. While the production quality is acceptable, they go for a retro analog sound rather than the crisp Pro Tools digital sound available today. This of course is all part of the atmosphere of the music and what gives it character.
The music is a bit quicker and more straight ahead metal than Ghost, which I like a lot. However, the one thing I think holding In Solitude back is they are not much for catchy hooks. While the music sounds great, I love the guitar work, and the singer’s voice is probably more of a ringer for early King Diamond, they just don’t have the catchy as hell hooks that make Ghost so hard to put down. That is a very minor criticism though; just something I’d like to see more of. Metal is not always about the hooks like pop music, so it’s not a deal-breaker. But given the style they are working with, it could only help them to work on hooks.
In Solitude also take the route of satanic imagery and lyrics. It makes me very nostalgic for the early 80s when metal was changing from the hard rock of the 70s into what would be the thrash movement. Bands like Warlord, Attacker, Tyrant, Hallows Eve and others were all very awe inspiring to me back then. What do the kids today think when they hear this retro style metal? Do they think its lame and go back to their metalcore music, or do they find it interesting?