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6 years have passed and 'Solinari' affirms its timelessness and stands proud over the uninteresting majority of Doom Metal.
In 'Solinari', Morgion had created an album that appears to - musically, not conceptually - capture the magesty of the entire extent of a great civilisation from its creation to a mysterious ruination, buried by sands of history.
Intricately composed songs present variety in tone, volume and cumulative depth - implementing this trinity to grand level, painting vivid mental imagery in the mind of a listener.
Each song has its own organic pulse and an inconspicious, mystical 'soul' which is the essence of 'Solinari' that flows throughout the album.
The 'rhythm guitar' layer is pregnant with emotive potential. It's nature is in constant flux; sometimes an ultra-heavy ('Like An Everflowing Stream' guitar tone x 5), aggressive, rhythmic force that warps all other instrumentation under its gravitational force, at other times it will become the mediator between the synths and percussion.
In the case of the latter, Morgion create a sense of musical space remarkably and, initially, overwhelmingly well. A particular instance of note begins with the synth layer is brought to prominence like the Sun finally traversing a dense veil of clouds. The synth chords seem to correspond to the guitar chords, the guitars are essentially extended beyond its intrinsic 'reach' by the synth layer and the synthesis is a widened vista of sound that is engulfing and emotive.
The hypnotic percussion of the marvellous Rhett Davies accentuates the tidal-wave like motion of the guitars. The bass drums' sound is rich but not booming and has the quality of a boulder. The drumming is unconventional. It conforms to the will of the other layers, reflecting subtle nuances in the Doom-heavy yet porous quality of the rhythm guitar; the bouncing Goth Rock bass-lines that have a tendency to change the direction of a song when brought to prominence; and the epic, stream-like melodies that flow in and out of subordinate layers.
Mention of the all-important melodic crown of 'Solinari' brings us to consider the further experimentation with guitar. The guitar is reconfigured throughout to, for example, pierce through Raison D'etre-esque ambient passages and still not perturb the intangible force that controls and directs 'Solinari', or divide a phrase into different parts represented by different tones working for each other. 'Canticle' in particular is a lengthy demonstration of the successful use of variety of tones, from the acoustic to the razor-sharp electric, to create a holistic beauty within the one, monolithic central riff. In a moment of immeasurable grandeur, the wholeness of this passage is amplified by the ultra-heavy guitars. Thus, Morgion avoid repetition with their clever approach to Doom Metal.
With such a guitar sound still in mind, it is not difficult to realise why the trusting Morgion also utilised the guttural but open-throated vocal delivery of many a SweDeath Metal band.
Spoken word vocals recite the abstract hymns of 'Solinari' and, it must be said, eminate quite an amount of sleaze. However, they also serve more of a creative purpose with passages of gradual building up, often concordantly with the music, towards 'Death growls'.
Morgion started as a band in the beginning of the 90's. At that time American death metal was going strong but Morgion for some reason decided to play more Swedish styled deat metal. Their demos were compared to releases of such bands as Carnage and Grave. Not until their 1996 debut Among Majestic Ruin did their style develop into the more My Dying Bridesque (much deathier than MDB though) doom/death-style of Solinari.
The album begins slowly and the pace doesn't pick up much but that was to be expected since this is doom metal. The music consists mostly of two different kinds of atmospheres. There's the more melancholic part with acoustic guitars or clean electric guitars, whispered or spoken vocals, peaceful and distant synth melodies and sparse drumming. The other atmosphere is the deathier one with powerful but doomy distorted guitar riffs, aggressive drumming and the raging death vocals of Peto. All of the songs consists of these parts taking turns after each other with two distinct differences: the title song which is a two minute interlude and ...The Last Sunrise which is an ambient outro.
Even though there are mainly just two different kinds of parts, they're all so captivating yet different enough that the sameness doesn't get boring. The dark and gloomy atmosphere that Morgion creates in this album is pretty much unrivaled except by Thergothon. The drumfills of Rhett Davis are very impressive though so seems to be the case with most doom metal drummers. Another noteworthy part of the music is the Fields of the Nephilim-like basslines and guitar melodies. They create a similar contrast between the strong riffs like female vocals and death vocals create but more tastefully.
Morgion has created something magnificent with Solinari. This album is very much unrivaled in its own genre. It is too bad that this line-up has already broken up.