'Pale Distant Light'
Belgium's Soul Dissolution mix melancholic atmospheres with post-black metal intelligence for a simply stunning mix of bleak melodies, haunting ambiance, strong riffs and tortured vocals. Comparable to the likes of Drudkh, Allagoch, and Alcest the duo of Jabawock and Archaran craft a compelling journey through their début offering 'Pale Distant Light' that will tantalise both black metal fans as well as fans of progressive extreme metal in general.
The album opens with the subtle and delicate introduction to 'Waiting' before indulging in some slow tempo riffing and an anguished vocal performance to set the pace for the album. The likes of 'this Red Painting In The Sky', 'Anchor', 'Final Dissolution, Part 1 – Hatred Spawned From Longing', and 'Final Dissolution, Part 3 – Pale Distant Light' provide a solid number of intelligent but still catchy tracks rooted in the black metal formula but augmented with subtle electronic and progressive embellishments.
The band's skill really comes into its own with the purely melodic instrumentals 'Immanence Of Unfulfillment', 'Final Dissolution, Part 2 – Fields Of Stone', and 'Echoes Of Dissolution', which resemble Anathema in the delicate melodies and progressive ambience. The band's final parting shot is a solid if not to adventurous cover of October Tide's 'Sweetness Dies' which adds some hard riffs and epic feel to close the album in good measure.
The production is very solid and clean. It doesn't suffer from that typical underground black metal sound invoked by some bands to cover up any shortcomings in recording quality. Instead this is an album that aims high and achieves its objectives.
'Pale Distant Light' is a great album that promises a lot more to come from this partnership in the future. This is a début that should make those who listen to it take notice and hopefully the band will be quick to follow this up with an album that pushes their ideas even further.