Sunday, March 3, 2013

Of Solitude and Solemn-Demo Review

1. The Wanderer
2. Age Upon Age

Of Solitude and Solemn, the UK one man doom project of Joe Hawker finally debuts with its first demo/EP and already this is creating a buzz amongst those who I have shared this with.  Multi-instrumentalist Hawker describes his work as powerful yet simplistic with intricate layers and expansive atmosphere.  And yes he is spot on.  A while back he introduced the track The Wanderer to me and a few others, of course it didn't have vocals but it had potential with his skillful musicianship.  Months later that same track blossomed from just a small seed in the ground to a prideful black beauty rose unleashing its dismal yet resplendent cries onto the fertile soil even if it was in solitude with nothing around it.  That's the kind of pride that Hawker pours into his music.

At a little under 24 minutes Hawker will take you into his world full of infinite darkness yet coalescing a beauty of manifold sensations and alluring atmospheric boundaries that will have you at a mournful state of mind.  And while he said to himself that people would laugh due to his musicianship and vocals, that is not the case here.  His vocals vary from a death grunt, to sometime screamish, and at times a low touch of clean somber vocals are heard.  The vocal mix is the best on the second track Age Upon Age.  That track alone is very powerful.  The changing in vocals just make you go awe and you can't help but listen to it over and over again.  Well, at least I do. As far as guitars go, he simplifies the meaning of doom and in a good way.  The atmosphere, however, is what makes this opus majestic.  There is atmosphere all around and its just pulled to its limit. I haven't heard so much beauty in a long time until now.  And I am not saying this cause I kind of know the guy. I just never knew he had the talent to create such beautiful doomy music.  If he continues this, I reckon he can go very far.

So in the end, I urge you to go to the bandcamp page and check out his music.  It is available for free download.  Of course donations are always appreciated so he can create more music and for better equipment.  Fans of the atmospheric doom or actually extreme metal fans in general, do not miss out on this.  I am sure you will find it a remarkable piece of melancholic art.  Looking forward to what comes next.  For a first impression, this is a very impressive debut. Props to Joe on this one. Cheers!


Review by Frerik Garcia

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