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SOLOTHUS (Fin) Ritual of the Horned Skull Tape. Death doom

SOLOTHUS (Fin) Ritual of the Horned Skull. Demo tape out now!

The first demo of finnish Death doom band SOLOTHUS is now released on tape
with a bonus unreleased song, on Nihilistic Holocaust recs.
Expect 20 minutes of 90's Death doom, with traditional doom influences.


Released as a black tape, with a cover on beige paper.
Available against 2 Euros + postage from this webshop:

More infos:

Other release available for trade or sale:
-ALTARS (Australia)/ HEAVING EARTH (Cze) Split tape. Dark and twisted Death metal.
-WRITHING (Usa)/ AD PATRES (Fra) Split tape. Fast, kicking and darkened Death metal.
-HERPES (Fra) Doomsday Demo CDr. Morbid Death metal influenced by Autopsy, with Death breath and early Death touches...
-NERLICH (Fin) Innards Demo tape. 4 tracks of Death metal from the grave!



The first reviews are coming:

I don't want to give anyone the wrong idea; I'm probably never going to grow up. I like my Death Metal riddled with enough blast beats to send me into a helicopter hair-twirling frenzy and seek the sweatiest, most teenager filled most pit I can find. There comes a point in time, however, where I gotta wash the pizza stains off my ripped, light-wash jeans and enjoy a good Death Metal album with a healthy injection of Doom. Hailing from Finland, SOLOTHUS demonstrates the virtue in Death Metal slowing the hell down (somewhat) and creating a little atmosphere. This demo is bass heavy and full of riffs yet it lends itself nicely as the soundtrack for lurking or stalking someone on a late night walk more than for the climactic end to a demolition derby (and that's a good thing). The heaviness comes from the overt to the subtle. The opening riff to the final song on the demo, 'Darkness Gathers Here At Night', is ominous and paves the way for a variety of tempo changes, rumbling bass lines and crystal clear guitar solos. Everyone gets their chance to showboat but only just the right amount as each part seems to contribute to the bigger picture; the demo is a lurking journey into a symbiotic marriage between Death and Doom Metal that I find so utterly refreshing. It's not so much about finding new and novel ways to be heavy, but to use the best of both genres to get you there. Give SOLOTHUS a listen, especially if you like HOODED MENACE, who not surprisingly were their 2012 tour mates. Angelica Jannone

Last year I had the pleasure to carry the burden of Finnish death/doom monstrosities Solothus' ''Ritual Of The Horned Skull'' EP, and endeavor I felt was one of the better death/doom interpretations of the last 4-5 years with bustling, semi-cavernous index and busy, climatic riffs that were placed in sort of the milieu of primitive death/doom circa 1989-1994 and a more established, polished offering of the same sub-genre that was substantially upgraded and polished by late to mid 90's connoisseurs Runemagick, Paradise Lost, etc, and even more modern projects of melodious, cavern-dwelling disembowelment projects like Hooded Menace or Coffins - a certainly copious range of macabre influences that all have their places secured in a gnostic burial ground near the local cemetery. Yet, there will undoubtedly be a handful of scoffers, demanding to know what the Finns have to top their already prodigious predecessors which have spawned in the last 5 years or so.
Yes, Solothus are nothing quite out of the ordinary, bearing minor contrast only thanks to their larger intake of Runemagick influences, but there's much more to this hillock of bones than the eye meets.

As I stated, Solothus' entire bevy of groove-laden riffs fall somewhere between the more ''epic'' and edgy facet of death/doom and the more grotesque, and veritable churning of melodic exhibitions delivered through a manifest of horrendous old school depictions. Solothus are simply fantastically authentic, equating the masterful measure of doom, gloom and harmony into one versatile, bone-laced package, with an unrelenting undercurrent of vulgarity seething underneath it all. There's an elephantine slurry; a punching, ghastly monster of a tone that splashes around wildly in accordance to the medium tempo of the bruising drums, and like on ''A Call To War'', the band injects minor dozes of clamorous, distorted chords which instantly render the orchestration a morbidly defiant serpentine, belching bile and vomit as it stampedes. The songs are all shrewdly arranged; they're not stretched into drudging funeral doom epics of over 7 minutes; they're kept at the optimum length of about 4-5 minutes, and Solothus are obviously more keen in conversing at mid-tempo gait than turtle-slowness. They also tend to stick to a lesser flock of riffs than many of their peers incline to do, supposedly to turn the whole experience into a more absorbing one, but Solothus exceed many of their counterparts in both quality and distribution, each song a successful homage to sweltering death and doom.

Simply put, the Finns are more enthralling than the majority of their cavern-dwelling peers, deeply punging into the macabre without weaving superfluous quantities of complexities while doing so, and simply keeping the listener at bay throughout 20 minutes by continuously craving similar but very enjoyable, grooving riffs. Undeniably, there could have been a tidbit of more variation to embody an even more gruesome manifest of horror, but I'm still hardly malcontent with my current reservoir. The first two songs, ''A Call To War'' and ''Throne Of Bones'' mostly represented what the band's savager ideas clustered around, but ''Embrace Of Cold'', and even more so, ''Darkness Gathers Here At Night'', were fully turning on the more melodious inflection on, and barely Gothic interpretations made tangible with the use of vibrant, fibrous collections of melody, so they're definitely heading for a more solemn and harmonious approach; something quite akin to Hooded Menace and what they achieved with their latest full-length. Well, these Finns have captured the true grooving essence of old school death/doom, a horrific congealment of bones and mourn, so a full-length will definitely be welcome.

Trades are possible.



The distribution of the tape occurs well, I'll reach 100 copies soon.

Otherwize, here's a new review:
Solothus is very dark and at the same time have really deep gloomy feeling in this tape. To make this even better, they injected some death metal element, and they did it very well. I like it very much, I must say. This tape is actually a collection of previously release track in their 2011's demo except for Called To War which is taken from a split that never release. Personally, the best track to me is Embrace The Cold where the music is very organic, and the last part of this track is the best part with the great riff and solos filled the song. This Finnish band had a bright future and shows them your support!

Those who want to learn more about the band can still read an interview I did:

Bands, labels, trades are posible,
get in touch: gabsk(a)wanadoo.fr



Three new reviews of the SOLOTHUS tape have appeared:

Finland has long been known for quality doom death metal bands from the likes of Hooded Menace to the godly Thergothon. The latest entity to carry on this proud tradition is the macabre and subterranean Solothus. This release is a combination of their 3 song demo and a track from an unreleased split. A Call To War pounds forward like a zombified gorilla, riffs full of rotten muscles and I am reminded of God Cries era Asphyx. The riffs slow and become more forlorn. Then the monolithic chugging guitars rise and batter your ear drums.
Putrid sorrow permeates the opening riffs of Throne Of Bones. An epic quality possesses the dismal melodies that drift in across the foundation of old school death riffs. The vocals are grim and necrotic. My favorite track is Embrace The Cold with its ominous echoing bass guitar that pulses with dread. A true funeral doom flow and oppressive atmosphere crushes all listeners as the song trudges along in its slothful momentum. The lumbering, ropey bass line continues on Darkness Gathers Here At Night. A guitar solo that would make Gregor Mackintosh proud wails out like a baleful banshee before the song creeps into, long languid riffs that are accented by shades of despair. Solothus creates some decidedly anguished doom death that is both morbid and crushing. The songs are draped in funeral shrouds stained with the molding decay of fetid corpses. This is true, underground doom DEATH. 

LORDS OF METAL Webzine (Hol)
Solothus hails from Finland, and is a band from the doom world almost knows anything about. They released a heavily limited cd-r demo last year, and Nihilistic Holocaust now re-releases the demo, but with an extra unreleased track, on cassette in a larger circulation of, hold on to your chairs, 200 copies. But the good news is that Spanish label Memento Mori will be releasing Solothus' debut album later this year. On to the music. Many will call this death doom, but to me it will remain epic doom with a grunt. Nothing wrong with that, because the doom Solothus delivers is very well done and it isn't surprising at all that Raúl has signed the gentlemen. Opener and previously unreleased track 'A Call To War' immediately sets the tone. Lingering epic doom with a cesspool grunt to it. The other three songs do not deviate from this blueprint. The four songs are well thought out and show that the gentlemen have their doom hearts in the right place. No trendy gothicy doom posturing. But doom such as doom is meant to be to me. Solothus are absolutely a band to keep an eye on. 82/100

Ultimamente la mayoria de bandas estan optando por tocar death/doom metal al viejo estilo y es de admirar como algunas logran un perfecto balance entre la brutalidad/armonia que este genero representa. Solothus es una banda joven, proveniente de las heladas tierras de Finlandia con solo mencionar ese pais uno se puede hacer la idea de lo que la banda ofrece siempre y cuando sea en el ámbito de lo extremo y underground. Estos tipos presentaron este demo en 2011 captando la atención de unos cuantos, ejecutan un Death/Doom Metal muy añejo, muy clásico, muy retro. "Ritual of The Horned Skull" tiene por influencias a Bolt Thrower, Saint Vitus, Cathedral etc. Si bien el demo no tiene ese sonido a "garage" estos tipos han sabido utilizar muy bien la tecnologia, guitarras distorsionadas, voz gutural, las lineas del bajo muy pesadas que junto con los tempos lento de bateria logran una brutalida y armonia excelentes. Solothus representa muy bien al genero con este demo, la banda esta próxima a grabar su album debut y esperemos que sea sorprendente como lo es este demo, material lúgubre para gustos extremos. 9/10

Don't miss your chance to become cadaveric and tentacular,
order a copy of the tape here:

2 Euros + postage only!



Two good new reviews of the demo have appeared!

Get a copy of the tape before it's too late...

BRUTALISM Webzine (Hol)
Upon first reading the title of Solothus’s new release I was already thinking that this album was going to sound brutal. "Ritual Of The Horned Skull" sounds like the title to an old school horror film about a cult sacrificing women to appease a giant Stone Goat Statue that comes alive every so many years. Awesome album title aside Solothus is a Finnish Death Doom Metal band that combines the two heavy styles of metal together to achieve a truly earth crushing sound. The guitar riffs are slow thunderous low tuned pieces of doom that are accompanied by excellent rhythm drumming. This drummer helps create a solid musical backbone which flows at a sludgy grooving pace. Also, Solothus mixes Death Metal into their sound by using death growling vocals. I personally prefer Doom Metal with more clean operatic vocals that have a dark side. However, I understand the Death Metal vocals are used to make the song’s atmospheres very gloomy and morbid. Really the mix of Death Metal and Doom Metal gives the album a unique edge and adds to the overall heavy sound. I have heard the mix of Death and Doom before, but Solothus does a great job making their own style standout with an emphasis on extremely slow heavy riffs that are sung over by haunting death growls.
The first song a 'Call To War' is an intense track where the vocals are fiercely echoing over waves of guitar distortion and smashing drum cymbals. I like how the song changes tempo and adds variation when most bands just repeat the main riff for an extended period of time. Song two 'Throne Of Bones' is a loud track and the vocals are extremely hard to make out. Here I feel the combination of Death and Doom becomes a bit sloppy, but still the song allows for intense headbanging. The next song, 'Embrace The Cold', is my favorite song on this four song release. Hearing the opening riff reminded me of some of my other favorite Doom Metal bands, because the riff is grooving and in a way hypnotizing. Also, the bass tone is booming and each note is struck at the right moment. 'Darkness Gathers Here At Night' is the last song and ends the album off as it started... Heavy Slow Death Grooving music which needs more exposure!
Solothus knows how to make heavy atmospheric Death Doom Metal that makes the listener feel like the Grim Reaper is slowly wrapping his cold boney hands around them. "Ritual Of The Horned Skull" is a dark release which I recommend to all the Death Metal fans, Doom Metal fans, and any music fan that enjoys dark scary sounding music. I wouldn’t mind seeing these guys live because the music is loud enough to knock the audience over. Also, they might have a giant Horned Skull on stage... which they sacrifice annoying non-metal artists to at the end of the show. That would be worth paying to see live. Robby Stevens. 4/5

Ich mag ja dieses offensichtliche Selbstverständnis, mit denen die Finnen mit der Dunkelheit umgehen. Scheinbar härten die geografische Situation mit der Nacht, die ein halbes Jahr andauert, dem garstig kaltem Winter und den überzogenen Alkoholpreisen mächtig ab. Anders kann ich mir nicht erklären, wie das skandinavische Völkchen lächelnd in den Abgrund schaut, und wenn dieser zurückschaut, dann auch noch freundlich hinunter winken.“Ritual Of The Horned Skull” ist eigentlich nichts weiter, als ein musikalischer Gruß an die Finsternis im Abgrund. Nicht so grimmig und verbissen, wie vielleicht andere finnische Bands in die Dunkelheit blicken, Krypts, Abhorrence oder Swallowed zum Beispiel. Nein, SOLOTHUS scheinen ihrer dunklen Seite fast schon positiv und wohlwollend gesonnen. Das macht ihr erstes Demo zwar nicht unbedingt fröhlich und farbenfroh. Aber durchaus gefällig und irgendwie auch leichtfüßig.
Besonders die Soli sind größtenteils sehr rockig, und erinnern mich in “Darkness Gathers Here At Night” sogar ein wenig an den Vibe von dreckigem Southern Rock – No offense! Im Gegenteil, ich mag die Herangehensweise, die schleppendes Tempo, bitter-süßes Harmonieverständnis und diese erfrischend ehrlichen Melodien zusammenschweißen.
In ihrem schleppenden Tempo sind besonders “Throne Of Bones” und “Embrace The Cold” interessant. Die melancholischen Melodien, die von den Gitarren sogar unverzerrt mit coolem Effekt vorgetragen werden, fressen sich mindestens genau so sehr ins Ohr, wie der cool knurrende Bass. Die Entwicklung der einzelnen Songs, immer weiter zur Düsternis, halten den Spannungsbogen über die jeweils knapp/gut 5 Minuten hervorragend aufrecht.
Zum positiven Gesamtbild von “Ritual Of The Horned Skull“, trägt der Sound einen wesentlichen Teil bei. Dafür, dass das komplette Demo im “”Rehearsalucifer Studio” (was ich nun einfach als Proberaum interpretiere) aufgenommen wurde, ist der Klang verdammt geil! Man hört wirklich jedes Detail in der Musik, der Bass ist deutlich in der Musik positioniert, was im Metal bei Leibe keine Selbstverständlichkeit ist. Und auch die Drums klingen schön voll und organisch, derweil die Becken angenehm real abgemischt sind. Diese ausbalancierte Produktion lässt die Musik von SOLOTHUS noch mal trockener erscheinen. Es wirkt alleine durch den Sound, als ob die Band ihre Ideen locker aus der Hüfte schießt!
Ein wenig sticht der Opener “A Call To War” aus dem Gesamtbild heraus. Er ist vergleichsweise rockig und geht direkt zur Sache. Durch seine umwegslose Struktur ist er aber gleichzeitig ein guter und vor allen Dingen griffiger Einstieg für den Hörer. Seine Andersartigkeit ist besonders darin geschuldet, dass der Track eigentlich nicht zum “Ritual Of The Horned Skull” Demo gehört. Ursprünglich als 3-Song Dingenskirchen 2011 erschienen, fand diese neue Eröffnung erst auf den Re-Release ihren Weg auf die Kassette, die dieses Jahr durch Nihilistic Holocaust heraus kam. Derweil das restliche Demo zum kompletten Anhören und kostenlosen Download auf dem Bandcamp-Profil von SOLOTHUS bereitsteht, ist dieser Titel noch exklusiv dem Tape vorbehalten. Ob dieser Umstand auch in Zukunft so besteht, oder ob “A Calll To War” gleichsam auf dem Debüt-Album vertreten sein wird, das kann ich aktuell nicht sagen. Doch mit Sicherheit steht fest: Das Full-Length “Summoned From The Void” kommt im Juni via Memento Mori Records aus Spanien.
Solange sollte man aber definitiv “Ritual Of The Horned Skull” antesten. Denn irgendwie finde ich die Musik erfrischend und unterhaltsam, auf kurzweiligem Niveau. An dieser Stelle haben Gab/Nihilistic Holocaust und Memento Mori mal wieder guten Geschmack bewiesen. Und auch, wenn die Band den Großteil zum kostenlosen Download anbietet, sind digitale Dateien doch nur flüchtige Bits und Bytes. Unterstützt die Labels und besorgt euch das Tape und später auch die CD. Aktuell bietet “A Call To War” noch deutlichen Mehrwert zu den runderladbaren MP3-Files. Und auch das Booklet auf schwerer Pappe mit Double-Flapp trägt den Underground-Charme. Für 2 Euro zzgl. Porto und Verpackung kann man da echt nichts falsch machen!


Other reviews have appeared, it's at the end of this message.

Also the tape is still available for those who would like one:


SLOWEND Webzine (Fra)
Ah t'en veux du bon hammer-on de compète (non-paralympique de préférence) et des guitares forestières qui s'arrangent sans se morfondre ? Parce qu'on est au 21ème siècle et que les asthmatiques complaisants commencent à faire sérieusement braire avec leurs états d'âmes. Ah t'en veux du doom de macho pas trop fétide, de bogoss scandinave, parce que les égouts c'était quand même vachement plus street-cred à NYC quand on s'appelait Winter et qu'on se gavait de rats crevés. Et puis t'en veux du doom pas trop weak, juste ce qu'il faut de libidineux et de mâle dominant pour te décomplexer, parce que les claviers baroques et les errances lyriques c'était bien quand t'étais sexuellement désorienté - et qu'avec le recul t'es quand même plus branché Cathedral, Asphyx ou Candlemass que soirées vaseline entre apprentis corbeaux. Bien. Alors tant qu'à la faire bonhomme, on la fait avec entrain et avec Solothus, torse bombé et pilosité soyeuse, on rassure sa virilité à coup de prognathisme licencieux et de contractions musculaires, on laisse les mauviettes et leurs crises existentielles là où elles sont - de toute façon on y reviendra tôt ou tard - on arrange sa crinière de feu et on déroule le double-décimètre. No more pain, no more gain ? Mes couilles, oui.

Dawno nie mieliśmy żadnego wydawnictwa z francuskiej NIHILISTIC HOLOCAUST recenzowanego na tych stronach, czas zatem nadrobić zaległość kasetą, jaką Gabriel wydał całkiem niedawno, a jest to debiutanckie wydawnictwo fińskiej załogi o nazwie SOLOTHUS pt „Ritual of the Horned Skull”. Właściwie, to już po pierwszym rzucie oka na wkładkę do tej kasety można mieć pewne podejrzenie, co do muzyki, jaką demo to powinno zawierać… stos czaszek, niczym na starej płycie Magnus, old schoolowy layout i zdjęcie kapeli o odpowiednim wizerunku… staro szkolny death metal? Coś w tym stylu, choć przyznać muszę, że muza SOLOTHUS nie brzmi niczym kolejna kopia ENTOMBED, albo DISMEMBER, tym bardziej, że całość obok tego całego death’a ma też spore, często wręcz dominujące, wpływy surowego, ponurego doom metalu. Pewne jest jednak to, że słychać, iż panowie z SOLOTHUS czerpią garściami z tradycji swojej sceny – wystarczy przecież wymienić takie nazwy, jak UNHOLY, GOD FORSAKEN (debut LP), FUNEBRE i jesteśmy w domu. Dodać do tego trochę holenderskiej spuścizny, w postaci choćby SEMPITERNAL DEATHREIGN, ASPHYX, plus oczywiście to, co wypluła z siebie Anglia, czyli stolica doom – np. wczesna ANATHEMA… chwilami czuć tu nawet powiew takich staroci, jak CANDLEMASS… i proszę, mamy mniej więcej to, co czwórka Finów zawarła na swoim debiucie. „Ritual of the Horned Skull” to całkiem zgrabny demos, muszę przyznać, że wchodzi on bez popity, jest to solidny i wart posłuchania materiał, choć z drugiej strony brak mu jeszcze czegoś, może jakiegoś błysku, jakiegoś ognia i dewastującej energii…? Nie wiem, ale momentami nieco to wszystko brzmi topornie i niemal ślamazarnie. Brak im tego czegoś, co mają w sobie takie bandy, jak choćby SWALLOWED, ASCENDED czy HOODED MENACE, ale nic to… jest nieźle, ponura, złowieszcza i ciężka to muza, zwłaszcza w „Embrace the Cold”, bo w innych numerach, jak np. „A Call to War” możecie spodziewać się też nieco melodyki. Moje wrażenie jest zatem pozytywne, ale na przyszłość – a wkrótce SOLOTHUS ma wypuścił debiutancki album dla hiszpańskiej MEMENTO MORI – może to nie wystarczyć i powinno się od nich wymagać nieco więcej. Czas pokaże, myślę jednak, że zapamiętam sobie tą nazwę.

Od zespołu SOLOTHUS zieje old schoolem niczym z pradawnych wymarłych światów. Kaseta... Z okładką pisaną na maszynie... Limitowana do 200 kopii edycja i jeszcze ta tandetna, rysowana okładka. Coś pięknego. No i muzyka. Brudna, brutalna i ciężka. Czas cofa się o niemal dwie dekady. Otwierający materiał „A call to War” istotnie może zawezwać co niektórych do boju, mnie przede wszystkim ujął ultra ciężkim niedźwiedzim rykiem. Ech, w dzisiejszych czasach rzadko kto już tak gardłuje. W połączeniu z posępnymi, miażdżącymi riffami wychodzi to naprawdę znakomicie. Finowie sprawnie operują pomiędzy nieśpiesznym death metalem, a brutalnym doom metalem, a efekty są na tyle zadowalające, że trudno przywołać jakieś konkretne przykłady mistrzów dla SOLOTHUSa. Bo słychać tu i nieco AUTOPSY, trochę CELTIC FROST, odrobinę wczesnego PARADISE LOST. We wspomnianym utworze jeden riff nieodparcie kojarzy mi się z MORTICIAN. Jak widać, zbiór intrygujący, ale nie oddający całości, bo w takim „Throne of Bones” mamy już klimaty CATHEDRAL i CANDLEMASS. Z tą różnicą, że zamiast podniosłych śpiewów dostajemy w nery potężnym growlem. „Embrace the Cold” gdyby nie ten wokal mógłby znaleźć się na wczesnych albumach BLACK SABBATH. Całość zamyka “Darkness Gatheres Here At Night”, którego tytuł mówi wszystko. “Ritual of the Horned Skull” przesiąknięty jest grobowym, cmentarnym wręcz klimatem, jakiego nie powstydziliby się najwięksi gatunku. Bez melancholii, bez zawodzenia, potężnie I donośnie SOLOTHUS zaprezentował swoją obecność. Jednak nim ogłoszę wielkie nadejście, muszę usłyszeć więcej. Na razie jest za krótko. Czekam na więcej. [Shadock]