Vera : It took a very long time before Dutch band Purest Of Pain finally could realize their debut album ‘Solipsis’. Obviously that is partly due to the fact that female guitarist Merel Bechtold suddenly got very busy with Delain, MaYan and The Gentle Storm/Ayreon, since she appears to be the initiator of this band/project for which she writes most of the music. Lyrics are written by male vocalist J.D. Kaye. Guitarist Michael van Eck wrote the song ‘E.M.D.R.’.
Firstly the necessary steps had to be taken. They released the EP ‘Revelations In Obscurity’ (2011) and the single ‘Momentum’ (2013). They played live as much as possible in order to gather a budget to record a full length album. Their own studio and the Mantis Audio (Delain) were of capital importance to reach that goal. They also organized a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Finally everything was mastered in October 2017 by famous producer Jens Bogren.
And that’s no coincidence, since this happens to be a very Scandinavian sounding product full of vigorous melodic death metal. Earlier In Flames is mentioned as influence, but they also focus on groove-laden rhythms, the riffs have a kind of nu metal tinge (‘Crown Of Worms’) from time to time and the raucous grunt of vocalist Jesper de Kruyff often includes metalcore heaviness, thus in addition to low ranged growls also pretty scream-like shouts. The skilful melodic guitar solos of Merel are a nice contrast with the vocal harshness. It leaps to the eye that there are quite some shorter songs on ‘Solipsis’, even less than three minutes. Not only intros or interludes, but ‘Truth-Seeker’ and ‘Vessels’ appear to be dense, rebellious shots of energy, that’s why they are compact for a reason. Later there are longer tracks as well, such as ‘Momentum’ and ‘Terra Nil’ (guest Sam C.A.). We cannot ignore the fact that Merel is raised in a progressive environment: the songs can be labeled as technical, with ‘Tidebreaker’ as complex example. The album demands several spins to get into, but then it turns into a convincing one if you have a liking for modern death metal. You can purchase it through the Purest Of Pain website.