We’ve been waiting for a while now, but exactly ten years after the release of their self-titled debut album, Finland’s most depressive band is finally presenting us with their new album. For the fans of depressive suicidal black metal, the successor of Apocalypse In Your Heart was definitely something to look forward to! Among whom, yours truly, who got to know Totalselfhatred in 2011 for the promotour for AIYH in the infamous, now gloriously perished venue t’ Steegske in Gent. Obviously, it was a true pleasure to take a closer look at this new album Solitude.
With Solitude MMXIII and Cold Numbness, we are thrown back into a suicidal tidal wave. There is no glimpse of hope, happiness, sunshine or even the sheer will to live in the shuddering howls and screams of guitarist, keyboardist and singer A (apologies, I don’t know any more about him than you do). A lot of attention goes to such classical tear-jerking instruments as piano and violin, who respectively start the intros but carry on nicely during the rest of the track. Even better – and more subtle – are the atmospherically echoing background keyboards that make the songs as a whole sound way more full than the souls of their composers.
The next two tracks, Hallow and Black Infinity, are quite heavier and have more schwung, more enthralling riffs and rhythms. The absolute soul-crushing depression is replaced by a more atmospheric intensity with more passion, an ultimate spark of life if you will. Fans of (labeling genres and) blackgaze and post-black metal will totally love this, even more than the pure DSBM! Strong work here with touching high-pitched guitarlines on a somber bed of lower tones.
Album seal Nyktophilia starts nice and cozy with some ominous strumming and the return of the piano on a low pace and an incredibly chill drumline. One very successful bridge later, we are once again drifting in a destructive ocean of emotions, carried by a moving duet of piano and guitars. This is where depressive suicidal black metal and atmospheric post-black metal meet each other and they are making a beautiful little baby corpse…
In short, Totalselfhatred has returned to the acme of their genre! A brilliant piece of craftsmanship that doubtlessly cost literal blood, sweat and tears and in which you can taste the soul of the artists as a wry aftertaste as you are recuperating from this experience, slowly rocking yourself in a corner…
Release date: 27 april 2018
Record Label: Osmose Productions
1. Solitude MMXIII
2. Cold Numbness
4. Black Infinity