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Endarkening
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:51 pm
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:38 pm 
 

I'm a little late to the party when it comes to this style of doom. To those of you that are fans; where should I begin? The more depressing/oppressing the better. All of their albums score high in the MA ratings, so please tell me what your favourite S.A. tracks are.

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Opus
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Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:06 am
Posts: 2886
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:44 pm 
 

My usual answer: from the beginning.
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StainedClass95
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:14 am
Posts: 828
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:11 pm 
 

^ Yeah, Solitude Aeturnus don't have a particularly long discography, nor did they engage in a number of winding changes. If memory serves, Beyond the Crimson Horizon and Through the Darkest Hour were my favorites when I decided to binge on them, but I can easily imagine someone preferring the debut and maybe the later ones. Again, just start at the beginning, there are only 6 albums by them.

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 569
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:55 am 
 

Nah, there's quite a difference between their earlier and later styles. The transition album is probably 'Through the Darkest Hour', which is just heavy, slow, serious doom without much doom death heaviness but nor a particularly classic doom sound. For me, that's their masterpiece and isn't that difficult to get into.

Before that (first two records and demos), SA were straddling a kind of power/doom divide, where several songs would shift into higher gear and the melodies would be done up in more '80s Candlemass fashion. Go to the earlier work for more energy, but good luck buying a real copy of the albums if that's what you like. - they are hard as fuck to find in my experience.

The late '90s stuff up to "the long silence" sounds more like modern doom in that it's weightier and more consistent in pace and mood. Although an album like 'Alone' is good stuff, I don't think they did anything incredibly during their later output.

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aloof
avant-gardener

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:18 pm
Posts: 2048
Location: never neverland, palm trees by the sea
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:44 am 
 

the first two are the classics. Downfall was a kinda genre shift, and a lot of fans don't really like that album (I do). I didn't really like their later material, though that's mostly for personal reasons, not that they're bad albums... a lot of fans still hope for another one, too.

it's worth exploring the SA side-projects as well. I didn't really like Concept of God, but the first Last Chapter album is great!
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deopisi
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:14 pm
Posts: 284
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:57 am 
 

+1 for from the beginning
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Dungeon_Vic
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:00 am
Posts: 860
Location: Greece
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:30 am 
 

One of my favorite bands and definitely one of my favorite vocalists ever!

More traditional, Candlemass, power/doom style: First two. INCREDIBLE albums, masterpieces, some of the finest heavy metal of the decade imo.
Stand out tracks: Destiny Calls to Ruin, Mirror of Sorrow, Dream of Immortality, The Hourglass, Seeds of the Desolate, Plague of Procreation

Through the Darkest Hour: transitioning to a heavier, doomier sound, vocals tone it down in the higher register, still godly of course. The 9th Day: Awakening is the epitome of the album but also check Pain and Eternal. Fantastic album. Some people prefer this version of the band because it's less power although I don't find anything remotely cheesy in the first two.

Downfall: This indeed kinda alienated some of their fans. There is a breeze of gothic gloom alongside the heavy doom style from the previous album. Check the Christian Death cover (Deathwish) or the intense monologue of Elysium for that but the real FIRE is Phantoms (just a fantastic song all around, you will even hear some Alice in Chains kinda doom in the middle there) and Midnight Dreams imo. Great album but my least favourite of the first 5. But again, Phantoms is in my top 5 songs of theirs.

Adagio: I'd say this is a combination of Through the Darkest Hour and Downfall but with a more focused vision and production. Excellent album, Days of Prayer is one of their best songs and so is Believe and Spiral Descent ("You all will crawl.... Yeah..."). Unbelievable cover of Heaven and Hell, one of my favorite covers ever (aongside their cover of Shame on the Night - that one is even more impressive, Robert Lowe is on fire).

Alone is the album that wasn't much of a surprise sound-wise. It follows the sound of Adagio more or less. Great album but perhaps not as striking as their previous ones.

So, to recap, you can't go wrong with any album. Start from the beginning if you like to be thorough or go for Through the Darkest Hour which along with Adagio are the albums that kind of combine their two extremes in terms of style (Into the Depths of Sorrow and Downfall). But definitely check the songs out throughout their discography.
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Twisted_Psychology
Metal freak

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
Posts: 4645
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:59 am 
 

I have a real soft spot for Through the Darkest Hour but it probably is best to start with the debut and move forward. Alone is pretty fantastic too.
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Evoken
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 11:02 am
Posts: 810
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:20 am 
 

My favorites are Through the Darkest Hour, Alone, and Beyond the Crimson Door. But all their albums are good so you really can't go wrong no matter what you start with. The worse one is Downfall but even that one is pretty solid.

If you end up liking them all, also check out the band Concept of God and their 2007 album Visions. It's the same band as Solitude Aeternus minus John Perez, and the material is pretty similar.

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AndySlayer
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:57 pm
Posts: 143
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:55 pm 
 

Such a great band. All of their records are perfectly crafted and the melodies just work in every single one. That said, the first two are more Candlemass/USPM oriented, so they're easier to listen to on any given day. Their later stuff can get super oppressive. It's equally good, just projects a stronger, bleaker atmosphere that maybe isn't equally suited for every occasion.

Anybody know of any bands/albums in a similar style? I've yet to find anything that comes close to Solitude and Candlemass but I love those two bands to bits.

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Opus
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Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:06 am
Posts: 2886
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:08 pm 
 

AndySlayer wrote:
Anybody know of any bands/albums in a similar style?

Procession
Below (Swe)
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aloof
avant-gardener

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:18 pm
Posts: 2048
Location: never neverland, palm trees by the sea
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:50 pm 
 

AndySlayer wrote:
Anybody know of any bands/albums in a similar style?


use the "similar artists" tab on the main site. I doubt you won't like any of them...

Below, that Opus mentions, do the style 99%, but I don't like them. they come very close to the sound, and at times you go "hey, that's the lick from At the gallows end!", but overall it sounds uninspired to my ears (very subjective, but true to me).

Malta's Forsaken pay tribute to Leffe and co a lot, esp their earlier albums.

bit more obscure: Doomshine (de), Well of Souls (US), Mourners Lament. I take it you know where the last two got their names from :)

and, although the vocals differ a bit, my fave epic doom album of the last 15 years is the Evangelist (pl) debut \m/

oh, and Majesty in Ruin. no album out, but what's there is really good!
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Kerrick
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:02 pm
Posts: 1178
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:15 pm 
 

aloof wrote:
AndySlayer wrote:
Anybody know of any bands/albums in a similar style?

Malta's Forsaken pay tribute to Leffe and co a lot, esp their earlier albums.


I second Forsaken. They're really fantastic.

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Raindream
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:56 pm
Posts: 213
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:01 pm 
 

Alone is my favorite. It’s the most oppressive and forlorn sounding of all their albums and is heavy as fuck. All their stuff is great though. The first couple albums may sound a little dated imho.

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The Red Tower
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:06 am
Posts: 285
Location: At the Gate of Sethu
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:09 pm 
 

Slightly late to this thread but as a fanboy of S.A. I claim that there's not a single weak or even mediocre album. All their stuff is at least good, mostly very good or excellent.

You cannot go wrong by starting from the beginning as others have already recommended. Yet you could also work your way backwards and start with the most "oppressive and forlorn sounding" (thanks PluviaSomniums) album as this seems to be what you're after.

Or before anything else take a look at their official live video release which features songs from a couple of different albums:
Youtube: show


Songs that stand out for me are Black Castle, 9th Day: Awakening, Dream of Immortality, Scent of Death, Destiny Falls to Ruin...
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amelanchier
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:27 pm
Posts: 134
Location: I den trolska dalens hjärta
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:29 pm 
 

SA was my favorite band for a bit in the mid-90s. First 4 are all great. As others have said, _Into the Depths of Sorrow_ and _Beyond the Crimson Horizon_ are melodic and epic, sort of Trouble meets NWOBHM (but more epic). _Through the Darkest Hour_ has heavier, thicker riffs and is probably the most accessible for metal fans in general. _Downfall_ is underrated. It brings in psychedelic influences and has a more "chilly," haunting, gothic sound. It sticks with you and is one of their more creative and original albums. _Adagio_ and _Alone_ I think both retread some old ground and are less interesting to me for that reason, but still solid.

I would actually say that the bands that remind me most of early Solitude Aeturnus, at least in terms of overall aesthetic, are While Heaven Wept and Solstice's _New Dark Age_ (but not their other stuff).

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