August 17, 2019

Solitude Aeturnus - Beyond The Crimson Horizon (1992)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Doom Metal
Style: Epic Doom
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© 1992 Roadracer Records
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia
Solitude Aeturnus obviously saw no reason to alter their favored formula for Euro-inspired doom (featuring frequent flirtations with both thrash and power metal) when the time came to record their sophomore album, Beyond the Crimson Horizon, in 1992. Having been previously introduced by the group's excellent debut, Into the Depths of Sorrow, said formula had immediately saddled them with the not altogether fair reputation of being America's answer to Candlemass, so there was little they could do about that. But there was definitely room for improvement where this second album's production standards were concerned, and so Beyond the Crimson Horizon's first noteworthy -- and quite possibly lasting -- impression was infusing a punchier mix, and crunchier metallic thump into new numbers like "Black Castle," "The Final Sin," and closing instrumental "Beyond..." -- all of which also revealed some welcome self-editing, as compared to that first album's lengthy excursions. Unfortunately, with the exception of primary highlights like the uncommonly energetic "It Came Upon the Night" and the uncharacteristically mellow "Beneath the Fading Sun," Beyond the Crimson Horizon simply lack as many compelling riffs, overall, as its predecessor. And vocalist Robert Lowe's more prominently mixed banshee vocals actually come off way too over the top, even recalling Fates Warning screamer John Arch at times, with their less disciplined exertions. Indeed, Lowe's only major attempts at showing restraint come during the moody introductions to impressive opener "Seeds of the Desolate" and the aforementioned "Beneath the Fading Sun," proving that more isn't always necessarily better -- even in the realm of heavy metal. And despite a strong showing by most any definition of American doom of the time, Beyond the Crimson Horizon arguably falls just shy of the band's first outing, in the balance of things, making it a recommended, though not utterly essential purchase.

tags: solitude aeturnus, beyond the crimson horizon, 1992, flac,