The Swedish, melodic doom metal trio known as Soliloquium, released their album titled Absence on February 1, 2016 courtesy of Transcending Records. Absence is a compilation of their previously released EPs, When Silence Grows Venomous, The Concept of Escape, and A Night of Burdens; featuring six original songs and two covers, ‘Forever Failure’ by Paradise Lost and ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries. The overall feel of Absence is reminiscent of hard rock of the 90’s with a doom metal twist brought by Stefan Nordstrom’s deep growl vocals.
The first track, ‘Garden of Truculence’, opens very melodic, mellow even, listeners will be searching their pockets for their lighters, well that is until about two minutes into the song and it is time to head bang and mosh. The third track, ‘Crossroads’, kicks off with a long, powerful guttural scream by Nordstrom. ‘Crossroads’ is powerfully catchy; the clean vocals are beautifully executed, and a nice contrast to the typical screams and growls, fans will find themselves repeating this track over and over. The lengthiest track on Absence, ‘Nighttime Revelations’, is quite unique, beginning very whimsically; listeners will almost feel as though they are reliving the scene in Lord of the Rings when Pippin sings ‘A Walking Song’ to a noisily gluttonous Lord Denethor in Gondor, that is until the proverbial shit hits the fan…..in the most fantastic metal way. The track very diverse, with strong guitar riffs and a beautiful guitar solo around the four minute mark. The song is exquisitely composed and executed, while it is very long, fans will find it worthy of every moment of ear time. The final track on Absence, ‘Zombie’, was originally written and recorded by alternative rockers, The Cranberries in 1994, while Soliloquium’s doom metal twist on the classic 90’s is well executed, the addition of clean vocals and integrating more of the higher range screams that listeners will hear in the chorus would have taken the track from good to most excellent.
Overall, Absence is phenomenal, extremely powerful, well written, and unique spin on what doom metal should sound like. Metalheads will appreciate Soliloquium’s take on melodic, doom with fantastical and whimsical twists, and the familiar sound of what metal used to be; a group of dudes, serving metal fans everything that they love: killer guitar riffs, beats to head bang to, and tracks that they will want to listen to over and over again.