Taking every degree and level of pain they can find and unleashing it through an emotional turmoil which smothers light and hope, Eye Of Solitude has created one of the most impressive and devastating doom clad death metal violations in a long time. New album Canto III is an insidious sonic vampire, a tsunami of emotional suffocation which permeates every thought, ignites every shadow, and casts negatively bred emotions in the psyche and heart of the listener. Certainly not an album poised to be added to the Samaritans recommended playlist, the six track album is an hour plus of torrential torment which works its way deeper through each subsequent fall through its exhausting Gehenna.
Formed in 2010 and based in London, Eye Of Solitude has made a strong impact from day one through their previous albums, debut The Ghost and its acclaimed successor Sui Caedere of 2011 and ’12 respectively, as well as a couple of EPs. The Kaotoxin Records released Canto III though is another beast and level from those previous impressive releases, an album which stretches boundaries with grievous exploration whilst still suggesting there is much more to come from the band. Consisting of vocalist Daniel Neagoe (also Unfathomable Ruination), guitarists Indee Rehal-Sagoo and Mark Antoniades (also Sidious), bassist Chris Davies (also Sidious), drummer Adriano Ferraro, and Pedro Caballero-Clemente on keys, Eye Of Solitude have lyrically based Canto III on Dante’s Inferno and musically uncaged a tortuous provocation which preys on thoughts and emotions with an expansive suffocation.
A predation upon the soul cast in a sextet of Acts, the album opens with Between Two Worlds (Occularis Infernum). A dawning melodic grandeur within an ominous atmosphere expands around the senses as an oncoming storm of thunderous rhythmic persuasion lends its menace to the initial embrace. It is a gentle persuasion but one cloaked in thick shadows within a sonic beauty, guitars and keys a glorious and skilled narrative to ignite the imagination. Confronting vocals eventually scar the surface of the elegance, their toxicity the fissure for the emotional hordes of hell to unleash a ravenous intensity upon the sonic tempest. The guttural growls of Neagoe take demonic aggravation down numerous corrosive levels whilst the sonic rabidity parading its ferocious and fearsome sinews is as drenched in despair and agony as the lyrical consumption. It is not an easy listen, nor one which can be appreciated and fully understood in a few flights through the chaos, but one which is persistently magnificent.
Both Where the Descent Began and He Who Willingly Suffers stake their intensive slice of the passions with ease, the first a bestial vocal scavenging upon a scorched soundscape of guitar sculpted torment and rhythmic hunting which evolves into a quite stunning respite of clean vocals over a solitude soaked ambience before being stalked and dragged into the quagmire of bedlamic despair and vicious incitement once again. Its successor is equally as emotionally dramatic and rigorously exploratory, the opening haunted embrace of keys from Caballero-Clemente irresistibly melancholic as it tempts the listener into a hellacious pit borne torture combining unbridled sonic rampage and elegance kissed reflection. Like its predecessor the track is an evocative triumph as beautiful as it is destructive, and impossibly captivating.
The Pathway Had Been Lost is the next stage of the slip into dark insanity, the enlightened breath of the previous track sucked into the merciless vocal throat of this. The guitars and keys provide a new canvas out of the malevolence for thoughts to craft their distress and regrets upon whilst also offering an ever shifting provocation for the emotions. As mentioned there is never a moment where the album or tracks make a simple, easily accessible passage to immerse within but for the listener’s endeavour and determination undoubtedly rewards with an increasingly breath-taking and scintillating dark rapacious adventure.
I Sat In Silence and In the Desert Vast conclude the maelstrom of unfettered black emotions; from sadness to despair, desperation through to anger, a wave of the rawest emotions explored, stoked, and inflamed across the fervour driven emotional terrorism of both tracks, as the whole album. They complete a real triumph in Canto III which marks Eye Of Solitude as having the means to take the future of doom/death metal to new experimental heights and the craft to ignite extreme metal as a whole, which they have begun with this exceptional artistically intensive and demanding album.
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