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NOPE. - 20%

Metal_On_The_Ascendant, May 17th, 2020

This being my first acquaintance with Sweden's Soliloquium I have to admit, I am disappointed. Not that I expected much. They have been making the rounds in doom/death circles as a sort of Swallow the Sun incarnate and put out an album earlier this year. You won't be able to tell any of that from this pretty useless EP. It opens on a small little acoustic ditty replete with the saddest of notes and characterless multi-tracked singing. The song feels incomplete and like it was actually leading somewhere but they cut it short and break out in a cover of Paradise Lost's "Forever Failure".

This terrible interpretation of what is an obvious staple at this point is made glaringly offensive by the unwelcome growling where singing was needed...although when the singing does come in, it sucks away any shred of imagined dignity Soliloquium possessed. The cleans are short and tepid mumbles that aim to convey helplessness but only succeed at revealing ineptitude. The over-reliance on finger picked acoustic guitar doesn't lend itself too well to the memorable melodic sections of the original either.

As if that wasn't awful enough, we are then treated to an abusive rendition of The Cranberries' "Zombie". The wistfulness and slow pull of that song is massacred at the altar of mediocre shrieking and lifeless guitar distortion. Seriously, why do bands do these things? As a showcase for their talents, "A Night Of Burdens" only serves to leave the newcomer to Soliloquium utterly filled with trepidation to explore them any further.

Would have liked more original material - 77%

PorcupineOfDoom, December 24th, 2015

Soliloquium's A Night of Burdens is an EP that hopefully highlights exactly what they're capable of, as despite it's short length they showcase a lot of talent. They cover two songs here and have an additional original song thrown in, and I thoroughly enjoyed the twelve minutes of music that they've produced.

I'd say that their original song is the weakest of the three tracks here, although it's clear that that is in part due to a lack of force behind it. While the other two tracks are both heavy and very powerful, 'Perpetual State of Panic' never really hits top gear, instead refusing to use any electric guitars or harsh vocals whatsoever. I guess it's a little different from the other two and in that respect it's a good thing as the band show some diversity, but I'm glad that they kept the track to just two and a half minutes, as it is without a doubt the weakest that the band has to offer here.

That being said, their two covers are done very well. That isn't easy given that they choose to cover 'Zombie' by The Cranberries and 'Forever Failure' by Paradise Lost which are big tracks by big bands, but they manage to put their own spin on things and make both songs very interesting to listen to. The growls used are very deep and powerful and give a sense of brooding. I also like the melodic death/doom style that they utilise, and it makes for a particularly interesting listen on the song 'Zombie'. The song is of course instantly recognisable, but with the definite sense of doom around it they change it dramatically too. In particular I like the way that the leads are accentuated compared to the original version, and of course the thundering heaviness is not a negative factor either.

I have two complaints about this EP: inevitably the first is about the length of the release, as I'd have liked to hear some more original material alongside the covers, hopefully something showing what the band can do when it comes to writing their own stuff; the second is the drumming. The rest of the band do their job very well, but I find the drumming not to be to the same standard. On 'Forever Failure' the drums are forced to play at a plod for the entire duration of the song, which is none too interesting. That being said, at least it is in time with the music. This is not the case on 'Zombie', which is a shame as it kind of spoils the song. It's only in the choruses where the drummer uses blast-beats (which sound very distant and tinny too, just to add further negativity), but it just doesn't go very well with the slow leads that the guitar plays.

Besides those two issues A Night of Burdens is a nice release that's worth checking out, the covers in particular as they are stronger than the song written by the band themselves here. Who knows, I might just check out the band's next release, which is hopefully not that far away.