Album Review: Barbarian Hermit – Solitude and Savagery (APF Records)

Hailing from Manchester, UK, sludgy doom band Barbarian Hermit are scheduled to release their debut album Solitude and Savagery on November 16th 2018 via APF Records. Solitude and Savagery is the follow up to the band’s 2016 self titled EP.

Comments guitarist Adam Robertshaw: “At its essence, Solitude and Savagery represents an evolution of Barbarian Hermit in more ways than one. The year before the majority of it was written the band went through a weird period where we lost three members for various reasons within about six months. Thankfully Ed, Gareth and Rob stepped in and stepped things up a notch in a big way. Working with Chris Fielding at Skyhammer studio was a dream come true for us. The man is a genius and such a pleasure to work with. His ear is incredible and once he got to know us and what we are about he really got on board, suggesting harmonies or adaptations here and there, which really gave the songs a boost. With anyone else we’d have recorded a good album. With him made a great one. We hope people have as much fun listening to it as we did making it.”

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The latter part of the album name is apt as this is a record filled with fuzzy downtuned guitars, raging groove and a heavy-as-hell rhythm. Savage sludge for a savage band, Barbarian Hermit throw their everything into Enter the Hermitage to ensure you’re fully invested from the moment it starts. It’s a ferocious beginning that slams groove down hard with every expectation that they’ve beaten you into submission already.

It’s interesting that Black Mass heads in a different direction with sombre melody and soft singing at first. It’s soulful sounding and just as you relax into it, the drums hit and the riffs go dark and deep. What follows is a classy yet devastating doom track that is covered in slimy dampness, shifting like a scaly beast.

No Sleep then delivers a bouncy, dare it be said…catchy slab of groove metal with an impressively energetic tune. It’s a short lived break (as if one is needed!) before the crushing balance of slow and sludge returns to haunt your waking nightmares on Beyond the Wall. A complex guitar solo freshens things up as the meandering rhythm eats away at your mind.



With plenty of air in their lungs still, Barbarian Hermit smash through the crusty surface with Life Breather and it’s morose melodies played off dark heaviness. Before Reawaken keeps things as traditional as it is humanly possible with such a strong take on sludge. Traditional in the sense that it’s got a recognisable formula of deep groove alongside exciting flashes of heaviness brought on by the riffs. Still every bit as incredible as everything that has come before and what follows.

Talking of which, Laniakea wraps a brilliant release in style. 11 minutes of style and a track that shows off a huge array of skills as it deals out a hard rock sound to mix things up all while showcasing the sludgy doom talents that make Barbarian Hermit a force to be reckoned with.

One of the best albums of 2018.

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Barbarian Hermit – Solitude and Savagery Full Track Listing:

1. Enter the Hermitage
2. Black Mass
3. No Sleep
4. Beyond the Wall
5. Life Breather
6. Reawaken
7. Laniakea

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You can order the album now over on Bandcamp and via APF Records here. Find out more and keep up to date with news by liking the band’s Facebook Page, following them on Twitter and on Instagram.

Barbarian Hermit - Solitude and Savagery (APF Records)
  • The Final Score - 9.5/10
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