There isn’t too much information out there about Shroud Of Solace. I know it’s a solo project and the artist hails from Florida. I also know that the initial idea was to make a depressive black metal album that according to the artist turned to hard rock/goth music. I personally would love to hear a black metal album like that of Sunn O))) but what are you going to do.
The most recent release, and to my knowledge only release, by Shroud of Solace is Acclimation, which revolves around distorted guitar, drums, vocal and a bass that is barely audible. My first impression and ultimately what I felt as I got deeper into the material is that the artist is at the embryonic stage of his creative development. That’s not a bad thing; it’s just kind of what it sounds like. There were a couple of things that indicated that to me.
The songs while showing some definite talent from the artist are fairly limited in their scope and scale. They revolve around basic guitar chords and repetitive drum patterns. On top of that the songs bleed into each other and it takes three to four spins for the mind to start finding real separation.
I’d say the strongest element of the songs was the vocal work. He has a voice that works well with the music. It’s dark, bit mysterious and full of dread-like melancholy. That being said I wish his vocals were more present in the mix. They often felt a bit too buried and I couldn’t discern a thing he was saying. One of the reasons for this is because the mixes suffer from the most typical issue present in DIY projects - low-end allocation. You’ll notice that you will have a hard time hearing the bass and the kick drum on this album. This is because it is occupying the same frequencies that also end up masking the vocals.
There weren't any songs that were duds or even missteps. Shroud of Solace is fairly consistent with his writing and if you like one song you will undoubtedly enjoy them all. A couple that stood out were “Tortured Story,” “Mercy is Gone” and “Into Finality.”
Shroud Of Solace may still have a ways to go to compete with the best metal available today but everyone's gotta start somewhere.
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