Solitude Aeturnus

Adagio

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When Solitude Aeturnus vocalist Robert Lowe goes into his grittier, more menacing delivery (as he does on the odd-timed "Days of Prayer"), things work very nicely. Unfortunately, the singer's other vocal delivery -- often flat, clean, and long-winded -- is featured much more often on this, the group's fifth record. The group's slow approach to doom metal riffing only compounds the problem by giving Lowe extra space to fill with his uneven moaning. The unfortunate mismatch is not so bad that listeners won't be able to appreciate the titanic riffing on highlights like "Idis" and "Mental Pictures," two low'n'slow epics that suffer from the Lowe treatment but don't collapse because of it. With so little interest in American doom metal, Solitude Aeturnus deserves credit for sticking it out in the late '90s and releasing three credible attempts at the genre. It is a difficult call, but this dogged commitment can't quite make up for the flaws in Solitude Aeturnus and Adagio.

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