Hour Of Anguish – Solace Of Sorrow
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: Out Now
Review By: Dave Griffiths
Solace Of Sorrow may well be one of the most surprising albums of the year – surprising first of all because of the fact that this is the debut album for Sweden’s Hour Of Anguish. This sounds like a band that has been around for 20 years, not a band that is delivering its first sacrifice. The second surprise is that Hour Of Anguish is a two piece… with a sound this big it’s hard to believe that just two men can be responsible for it.
This is one of those rare albums that grabs you by the throat and makes you love it from the very start. There’s not no ‘getting used’ to Hour Of Anguish’s sound or even letting the album grow on you – this is love at first listen and that is a rarity these days.
Together Richard Lee and Andreas Henriksson have created one of the most exciting albums to hit the melodic death metal genre in a long, long time. Often albums in this genre aren’t quite as melodic as the band would like you to think, but that isn’t the case for Hour Of Anguish that seem to find that right mix of brutality and melody from the get-go.
Solace Of Sorrow opens with The Silence, a track that sounds so natural it feels that the band are in your living room performing it in a live and intimate way for you. The mix between death growls and clean lyrics has the right blend and this track shows you straight away that this is going to be an album that can only be described as ‘brilliant’.
While the highlight of this album is the mix of vocals on tracks like Hateful, Hollow and Countdown To The End the duo also need to be congratulated for their fine musicianship when it comes to the instrumental side of things as well. The meaty guitar sound on Farewell To The Flesh only enhances the excellent vocals and melody while the intense drumming on Ouroboros again takes this album somewhere else.
The other thing that really stands out about this album is Hour Of Anguish’s ability to mix up their sound at whim. While Throne Of The Gods has a strong rock feel that finally gives way to the death metal that forces its way into the track the band also go to the more extreme end of the brutal scale with Rise and Sepia… the latter also consisting of some truly unique ghoulish, tribal growls.
If Solace Of Sorrow is anything to go by then Hour Of Anguish is going to be a band that we are going to be hearing a lot more about over the years. This is a brilliantly, stunning debut that is going to be lapped up by those that enjoy great melodic death metal.