Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: Solitude Aeturnus’ Beyond the Crimson Horizon Inducted Into the Hall of Fame
Before there were blogs there were these things called magazines, and the only metal magazine we still get excited about reading every month is Decibel. Here’s managing editor Andrew Bonazelli…
If we asked you to tell us the first band that comes to mind when we say the words “Texas metal,” well, we’d be saying words and not writing them, i.e., hanging out in person with you, and the first words on both of our minds would probably be “Are the police nearby?” Irregardless, Pantera is probably that band. Or at least the easy answer. But the Lone Star State often gets reduced to easy answers due to the titanic amount of dogshit it’s produced—we tend to forget that there are pockets of excellence that lend vibrant color to the state’s extreme music profile. Hell, we just inducted Dallas/Ft. Worth thrash vets Rigor Mortis into the Decibel Hall of Fame this April, and Kill the Client, Hall of Famers Watchtower and, shit, even the Sword further supplement its sonic diversity.
Solitude Aeternus were likewise one of a kind. In 1992, death metal ruled the roost, enjoying its greatest sustained period of popularity. Earache and Roadrunner were the twin titans purveying the genre, but one non-death metal band on the latter back then was Solitude Aeternus. Unlike their labelmates, the quintet didn’t have a built-in audience, and their hypnotic doom epics surely would have fared better in the friendlier Scandinavian confines of their peers. So, sophomore effort Beyond the Crimson Horizon gets the HOF treatment in the September issue for being a true original, doom imbued with a fuck-you-if-you-don’t-get-it punk sensibility.
If you’re not familiar, time to catch up. Enjoy a little cutting-room floor content courtesy of our beloved scribe Chris Dick.
On touring with Paul Di’Anno’s Killers:
John Covington: I like to call that tour the “dues payer.” It was great to be out there playing our stuff all over America, and I mean all over America. It was a seven-week, 14,000-mile jaunt. But to be playing with the original singer of Iron Maiden was a mind-blower for metal fans like ourselves. They were really good guys, but they liked to kick the shit out of each other on a regular basis. They had a true punk rock attitude. But they treated us well and looked out for us when they could. We lived on a $5/day per diem, were our own crew, and slept in the van—all six of us—most of the time. We did have a few fans have mercy on us and let us shower and crash at their home occasionally. It was a great experience that I would not like to repeat under those conditions again.
On reception to Beyond the Crimson Horizon:
Edgar Rivera: Not very well that I recall! [Laughs] I think many people were expecting a much “doomier” record. But many got over it in time and came around to liking it… Beyond the Crimson Horizon just grows on you the more you listen to it.
On finishing songs on Beyond the Crimson Horizon:
John Perez: We loved the songs. We had something different. We had a lot of time for those songs. The time between albums gave us time to reflect on the songs. We worked them, re-worked them. Sometimes the songs took a few days. Other times, a few months. But we didn’t want to be too perfect. We were big believers in the detail of the songs. That’s the difference from a good band and a great band.
On knowing “Seeds of the Desolate” would be the opening track:
Rob Lowe: Actually, yes. We put the material together; there wasn’t like a hit or miss thing happening. We knew which song was first, second and so on. It was like a show. We had a set list and we ran through it. That’s never been an issue with Solitude. With every album, we’ve known pretty early on where the songs were going to be placed. It was arduous, don’t get me wrong.
On the rhythms for “Plague of Procreation”:
Lyle Blackburn: That was something that Wolf [John Covington] came up with. It was definitely different, and I remember we debated for a while about the approach of the song, but at the end of the day it sounded cool and we liked it. Plus, the drum beat added some cool texture to the overall album, so I think it works well for it.