Label: Osmose Productions
Release Date: 27 April 2018
Format reviewed: CD quality digital promo
Depressive black metal has always been a strange territory for me. The hybrids usually are not strong enough as the main species, and either they must be really good and well developed, or they are just dropped off from the herd. Furthermore nowadays there is clear and obvious diffusion in the styles, genres and subgenera into tens sub-sub categories which are even hard to describe. Depression had been a field for the most sad and slow death-doom bands 20-25 years ago just when the second wave of black metal has been so popular. So it was either slow, sad and painful, or it’s been…total black. Let’s add funeral doom and post-black wave to all this. Oh well…It really needs to be cooked well!
I’m once more thinking and calculating: summer is definitely NOT the time to drown into this particular style, especially when I’m writing for a depressive black metal band coming from the cold depths of Heslinki! With a band’s name like this and form my experience with their previous release for sure I knew what to expect, but what the heck!
“Perseverance through adversity, creation through destruction, strength through pain. After years of waiting, skulking and lying near-dormant, Totalselfhatred has returned to the fray. We are here to present you five songs of our own particular brand of melancholic desolation in an audial form. Turn off the lights, wallow in the sweetness of reclusive negativity and let yourself float freely in the soothing stream of emotion that our epitome of Solitude will provide”
This announcement says a lot about the album and the band. “Solitude” comes seven years after bands second release “Apocalypse in your heart” released in 2011. With 5 songs and total running time of 41 minutes, in “Solitude” Totalselfhatred deliver another solid dose of despair and pain giving us just a solid reason to cut our veins. Depression, emotional crush and absolutely no light in the end of the tunnel. So painful and beautiful at once.
Musically the album is good. Shoegazing, black gazing, melancholy. With really fantastic (!) slower parts, clean or acoustic guitars passages, keys. However, the slower to mid passages suddenly explode into hyper nihilistic crescendo blasts and lethal doses of pain and screaming vocals. Typically for the genre of course. Honestly, this was my main problem – these particular parts of the songs and vocals. First of all the blasts – some mistakes in drumming rhythm were noticed, and really the music and the overall atmosphere do loose with that painful screams and harsh vocals. Of course with songs like Solitude, Cold Numbness, Hollow, Black infinity, there can’t be anything else but pure misanthropy and screams for help of hopelessness.
At the end of the day, I’m trying to convince myself about which half of the song parts will prevail in my judgement. The slow and gloomy desperation or the painful cut-knife black crescendos which for me are weathering the veins of this record. I leave it to everybody to find the answer for himself. 6/10 Count Vlad