Vera : With the albums ‘Revelations’ (1994) and ‘New Dark Age’ (1998), UK based Solstice achieved a true, respected cult status in the epic doom metal scène since ages. Yet the career of these guys never exploded into big fame. These days the eccentric looking Rich Walker (guitar) appears to be the only original member who is active in the band. Behind the microphone, one can find Paul Kearns, once the mastermind behind Irish Arcane Sun whose debut album enchanted us in the enlightened nineties when metal started to expand in subgenres. It was the same time we also had our first encounter with Primordial (with ‘Inrama’) and all this music has one thing in common: intense vocal performances with yearning for times gone by with its values and glory, as well as proper pride and consciousness.
It is not different on ‘White Horse Hill’, an album brimming with integrity. This is not heavy due to exposure, this aims for genuine sentiments. We are overwhelmed by the blues injected guitar skills of Walker, regaled with the momentous, thoughtful vocals of Kearns. Here the historical – folkloristic if you want to call it that way – heritage hides behind a wall of self-assured, sturdy riffs and fragile empathy. The long songs develop in a natural manner without getting long-winded or going down in a modern ‘war of loudness’. Thus this is metal as it was initially meant to be!