Review: “Servitude” by Solothurn

What does it take to gather together a collection of seasoned musicians to form a new band and start over? In 2022 a collective known for their work in the likes of Involution, Electric Red, Annapurna and Toska formulated a blueprint for an Alternative Metal sound in Belfast Northern Ireland, drawing on influences from bands like Alice in Chains, Deftones and Soundgarden in doing so. Their line-up was completed in early 2023 when Solothurn were joined by ex-Mondo Generator (Nick Oliveri) member, Simon “Spud” Beggs as a second guitarist. After a few months of rehearsals and pre-production, debut EP “Servitude” was recorded at Bootown Studios on the North Coast. The engineering and mixing on the EP was executed by Beggs with a second record already in the pipeline…

Given the myriad of influences it should come as no surprise that there is a genuine Post-Grunge feel to this debut record from Solothurn. Their rich heritage is something which they wear upon their collective sleeves with opening cut “Sentience Fades” offering up warm clean vocals from Ryan Adair, tinged with American accenting alongside powerful Metal tinged riffs and really nice clean drum sound from Marty Elley. What works incredibly well is that it has a hummable melody and sing-a-long vibes as well as having a real backbone to it. Nothing feels washed out or toned down so its abundantly clear that this is the sharper edged sound reminiscent of the early 90’s but with modern production value which they were looking to create. There is an air of familiarity about the opening riff of “War” brings to mind “New Noise” by Refused but in truth deviates away from the blueprint pretty quickly with driving kit work and a collection of riffs to get the head nodding. There is a consistent quality here which is an attractive trait and despite this being a debut record, it very much feels like the quintet have found their sound and aren’t experimenting in search of it here. Bringing the curtain down all to quickly “In Servitude” drives forward with hits of Stoner Metal influences shimmering like flecks of broken glass in the sunlight. Another powerhouse cut with catchy quality to it ensures that this debut EP feels like something a band would put together for an album if they were in search of a record label, such is the quality of the musicianship and quality of the material. Like Oliver said, please sir, can we have some more? [8/10]

Track Listing

  1. Sentience Fades
  2. War
  3. In Servitude

Servitude” by Solothurn is out 17th November 2023

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