Soliloquium – Soulsearching (Review)

Soliloquium - SoulsearchingThis is the fourth album from Swedish death/doom metallers Soliloquium.

It’s always a pleasure to hear new Soliloquium. Betwen 2018’s Contemplations and 2020’s Things We Leave Behind the band have quickly amassed an enviable discography, and now we have Soulsearching to add to this impressive list.

Soulsearching continues Soliloquium’s brand of despondent death/doom that we know them for, only with a few new developments. For a start there’s an increased variety in the music’s range, such as progressive death metal elements and an occasional emotive blackened/blackgaze feel, both of which help to elevate the atmosphere and maintain interest levels quite nicely. The tracks are mostly on the lengthier side too, allowing the band to expand on their melancholic content, with great results.

The well-written songs are atmospheric and melodic, and rich in emotion and depth. Soulsearching offers the band a broader palette to draw from than previously, allowing them access to progressive and blackened shading, (especially the former). This means that they can take the listener to new places and to new heights, to great effect. All of the songs are textured and charismatic, instantly presenting themselves as strong pieces of music, but then over time revealing even more strengths for the listener to fall deeply for.

The vocals consist of very well-performed growls, screams, and cleans. The vocalist has a great voice with broad range, and he probably sounds better than ever here. There are some well-placed guests too. The singer of Communic lends his impressive voice to the first track on the album – Floodgates – which is a real treat. The singer of Wolverine appears on the song Missing Pieces, which is the shortest track on the record, but still damn tasty. Other guests also appear, adding further texture to the album.

Soulsearching is another very fine outing from Soliloquium. However, due to their willingness to push themselves into some new areas, and the sheer quality of the music on display, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up ranking as my favourite record from the band.

If you’re a fan of doom-based metal that’s expressive and exquisitely realised, then Soulsearching is an essential listen.

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