This is one Hell of a Death Metal album. Sorry, I mean Black Metal. Oops, I mean Doom Metal. Hang on, I mean Progressive Metal…
Sol Negro have a very curious sound that will have people who enjoy pigeon-holing bands running for the hills in fear. They have aspects of Black, old-school Death and Doom in their sound and yet somehow manage to sound independent of each genre, creating something that effortlessly takes aspects of different sources and melds them together into an album that really is a bit different and a bit damn special. The closest vibe I can think of I suppose is a Celtic Frost-esque one.
The songs have an instant timeless feel to them as if you’ve always known them, yet you can tell that it is not an album to tire of easily. Repeated plays bear this out; there is depth and longevity here. The songs contain straightforward easily-accessible passages, but can quickly turn more progressive and emotive at the drop of a plectrum. No easy feat.
The vocals are accomplished and tread a fine line between Black Metal and old-school Death Metal. The old-school vibe permeates the music as well, with the riffs and bass reminding of Death at points before venturing into more Black/Doom/Prog territory on others. Regardless of what they’re playing and how, the overwhelming feeling is that yes; you are indeed listening to a Metal album through and through, and one to be proud of.
These tracks are even strong enough to stand side-to-side with a Paradise Lost cover, which is performed to a very high standard and sits more than comfortably with the original material. This band know their stuff; just listen to the start of They Came From Darkness for example. Phew!
An extremely top-rate album that I’ll be listening to for some considerable time to come. Do yourself a favour and pick this one up.