Solstice - Biography



The black hearted alchemical brotherhood of Solstice were joined together in 1990, originally expecting to embark upon a crusade of several years in length it has become apparent that their quest will span decades rather than the years previously envisioned.

Releasing three cult demos between 1991 and 1993 before completely revamping the lineup, guitarist Rich Walker was then joined by Lennaert Roomer (Drums), Gian Piras (Guitars), Lee "Chaz" Netherwood (Bass) and Simon Matravers (Vocals). In January 1994 Solstice signed to Candlelight Records and released their debut full length in the summer entitled "Lamentations". This was swiftly followed by a full 14 date UK tour with Sweden's Count Raven and a 30 date European tour with Anathema. By the end of 1994, Solstice had played live all over England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Czech republic, Holland and blown up no less than 7 (Seven) PA rigs from the incredible wall of heaviness they produced (Making tour mates Anathema look as heavy as Winger!!) and consumed enough beer to float an armada in….

1995 saw the band recording the "Halcyon" mini album, which was eventually to see the light of day on Italian label Godhead Records as a CD, and Black Tears Records (UK) as a limited 10" vinyl EP, before its release though, Lennaert relocated to his native Holland in the Autumn of 1995, thus forcing the band to seek a temporary replacement, and in the summer of 1996, Gian Piras left to join Cradle Of Filth whilst vocalist Simon just disappeared without a trace.

Undeterred, Rich Walker recruited bassist Lee Netherwood's old bandmate Rick Budby on drums, and after a brief spell auditioning different vocalists, Solstice roadie Morris "Moz" Ingram was appointed the full time vocalist.

1997 saw the band unleash their legendary "Drunken Dungeon Session" rehearsal demo tape (Recently an original copy went for £50 GBP on eBay!!) which showcased their ever evolving epic sound. From this, they were quickly signed by Misanthropy Records (Home of Primordial, In The Woods, Burzum etc) and 1998 saw them record the milestone "New Dark Age" album. Released to critical acclaim in early 1999, Solstice embarked yet again on many more gigs across the UK (including another 8 date full UK tour with Rich Walker's cousin's band Warning), destroying eardrums, levelling cities and laying waste to all and sundry with a titanic aural barrage.

After 2000's tour of Germany and England (Which included an appearance at both Wacken Open Air and the UK Metal Inquisition Festivals) the band began to compose new songs for their third full length, however by 2002 after playing at the HOA festival in Hamburg, it became apparent that there was some dissatisfaction from the other members, so rather than split the band, Rich Walker chose to leave to follow his own path…..two weeks later, the band split for good. Rich Walker later returned with the mighty Isen Torr featuring brothers in arms from both Twisted Tower Dire and Destiny's End/Falcon in late 2003.

The legacy of England's Solstice has remained untouched, and their crown unobtainable even by the few bold enough to try, however a stirring from the sinistral depths has awoken the epic metal behemoth Solstice and original members Rich Walker and Lennaert Roomer will return to the thick of the fray in due course.