There isn't an album that I've been more anxious waiting for than In Solitude's "Sister." After I became acquainted with the band in early 2012, through their brilliant sophomore release "The World. The Flesh. The Devil," I was completely hooked on this group's enigmatic and dark brand of heavy metal. It can definitely be argued that on the first album, the Swedish five-piece belonged in the circle of Mercyful Fate-worshiping bands that have gained some notoriety in today's metal underground, but after the haunting sophomore record, and, now their third full-length, "Sister," In Solitude has firmly cemented themselves as a group with their own unique and eerie sound. And what a glorious sound they've created.
The much darker overtones that were prevalent on "The World. The Flesh. The Devil" were what really made that record so memorable. It was the slight nuances of the guitarists' unorthodox melodies and Pelle's twisted approach to his vocals that made the band's music so damn great, leaving them with the unenviable task of trying to top it with "Sister." I'd say they rose to the occasion and delivered a collection of songs that are strange, creepy and just downright awesome. The sound is considerably less heavy (this is still very much a metal album) as the songs aren't entirely driven by heavy riffage, but chilling melodies, thumping bass lines and some terrific vocals. This isn't to say "Sister" is void of metallic riffs, because the title track and "Horses in the Ground" are guaranteed headbangers, sure to please fans of the band's earlier work, but for the most part, the new songs are much different than what fans are used to hearing from In Solitude. This, of course, isn't a bad thing, because these guys are proving to be much like King Midas, in that everything they touch, or in this case, create, turns to gold.
The opener "He Comes" is an acoustic piece that sets the tone for the album nicely, before transitioning to the opening melodies of "Death Knows Where," one of the catchier tracks of the record. It's the next song "A Buried Sun," though, that truly showcases In Solitude's genius - a doomy and epic song that shows off Pelle's masterful vocals (which have improved significantly) and the guitarists' ability to craft dark riffs and melodies, akin to the masters that came before (Solitude Aeternus and Candlemass come to mind). "Lavender" is a bit more psychdelic than the other songs, but, again, it shows the group taking a different, yet successful approach to creating their brand of dark, weird heavy metal. I really could go on and gush about "Sister" and In Solitude, but I'm going to cut myself off because the music speaks for itself. I've listened to In Solitude's 2nd album more times than I'm willing to admit, and I didn't know if they could truly outdo themselves, but they did with this record, and I don't know if any band this year is going to be able to eclipse the amazing "Sister."
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"A Buried Sun"
"Horses in the Ground"
4.6/5 or 92%.