Solus Grief - With A Last Exhale, LP
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- Order number: NSP-17850
Weight: Purity Through Fire
Label: Purity Through Fire
Year of release: 2023
Vinyl colour: Black
Infos/Extras: A newcomer hailing from Norway, SOLUS GRIEF is the work of one Peregrinus, who handles all instruments, vocals, and mixing & mastering. And where so many "one-man black metal bands" sound as much (or worse), SOLUS GRIEF buck that trend with a righteously robust sound and fully in-the-moment style of execution. In other words, Peregrinus sounds more like an actual band than many "bands" do.
With a Last Exhale is the evocatively titled debut of SOLUS GRIEF, self-released digitally late last year - and so entranced by its rigid-yet-unique style of black metal, PURITY THROUGH FIRE is now rightfully releasing the album on two physical formats. It would not be incorrect to assume a four-song/41-minute black metal record recorded by one man would be of the depressive/suicidal variety, and to some degree, both those appellations could be applied to SOLUS GRIEF. However, as Peregrinus soon displays, With a Last Exhale moves many, MANY places - and many of them quite surprising, despite remaining steadfastly within BLACK METAL - and with a jaw-dropping fluidity; this is NOT one-riff minimalism/"hypnosis" nor an expression living/dying on "atmosphere" alone. Indeed, with plenty of atmosphere to spare, Peregrinus' compositional skills astoundingly span the full reach of extreme metal, subtly (and tastefully) touching such boundaries as '90s melodic death metal, '80s epic doom, or even just proper heavy metal...but the expression is resolutely a black metal one, the emotions intense and inward, as befitting a title like With a Last Exhale. And the bass guitar here is something that must be experienced.
Strangely invigorating given how dark & depressing its subject matter is, painful yet vast, SOLUS GRIEF's With a Last Exhale is the vital first statement of an imaginative newcomer with hopefully plenty more in his black soul.