Each song a hymn, each riff full of pure passion: England’s Epic/Doom Metal masters Solstice will finally release the full-length successor to 1998’s New Dark Age. White Horse Hill was released digitally in February and will now be released on April 6th 2018 via Invictus Productions (European CD Version).
The band had this to say about the upcoming release:
“The album is intended to work musically in conjunction with both the lyrics (rooted firmly in the English oral folk tradition), and artwork (by US artist Chris Smith), both of which we place in equal value as being part of the finished piece. It is worth mentioning also that “White Horse Hill” was not written for the CD/Download market either, but rather written for that purest and most noble of formats; a 33rpm vinyl LP. This is of course why the albums run time is 46 minutes and no more. We believe that the days of bands releasing 70 minute plus albums for the CD market should be long forgotten, because they represented the notion that quantity should always supplant quality. For us, if an album doesn’t fit onto a single side of a C-90, it’s too long!”
The wailing of guitars introduces To Sol a Thane before soaring vocals bring things to an epic boil. Those unfamiliar with Solstice will find comfort in a sound that bears some similarities to the likes of Primordial. Although Solstice lean towards a more melodic side of doom.
Look no further then the soft & quietly sung Beheld, A Man of Straw as an example of that.
No complaints though as the when Solstice do go for a more meaty heaviness, it’s clean and still built around epic guitar riffs such as on the title track. The highlight of the record though is the near 13-minute brilliance of Under Waves Lie Our Dead, a track that swoops and soars along a path paved with impressive vocals and wonderfully tuneful guitars.
As the final few minutes of Gallow Fen plays out the sense of satisfaction from White Horse Hill is immense.
Solstice – White Horse Hill Full Track Listing:
2. To Sol A Thane
3. Beheld, A Man Of Straw
4. White Horse Hill
5. For All Days, And For None
6. Under Waves Lie Our Dead
7. Gallow Fen
Solstice - White Horse Hill (Invictus Productions)
The Final Score - 8.5/10