|Utopian.Hope.Dystopian.Nihilism - Pact With Solitude
2 May 2011
01. Pandora's Box
03. Self-Inflicted Metamorphosis
04. "Goodbye Exi(s)ts"
Pact With Solitude? Yeah, that's it, this - aptly named, one has to admit - album is a solo project: Élvio Rodrigues, the mastermind, recorded this first album all alone.
The music is quite tricky to describe. It's prog, that's for sure, and the songs meander a lot. It's also really varied. Harsh, extreme parts coexist with ambient/folky textures, proggy keyboards, crushing guitars and bass, you name it. There are strange stops and reprises with different stuff. Death grunts, raw vocals, spoken and ushered lyrics complete the portrait. Thankfully, it isn't as disjoined as one might think reading this (except on "Goodbye Exi(s)ts", the fourth and last track, that really starts and goes nowhere). They can be reminiscent of Kalisia at some points, for their use of melodic, harmonized guitars and keyboards along with the extreme vocals - but be sure these two bands are different beast altogether. The mood is also wildly different, mostly melancholic here - I'm pretty sure Mr Rodrigues is an Agalloch fan.
Sadly, I must admit that the songwriting is not always top-notch. Some parts feel hesitant, unsure. And others even prompt some "what the fuck is this?" A better blending and progression between the different sub-tracks would have been great. However, a short track like "Eu:Ele", with its nice bass line evolving into a crushing episode complete with high-pitched guitars is just great. And "Self-Inflicted Metamorphis" kicks some ass too... Except for...
The production. Can you picture proggy keyboards with a muddy, demo sound? That's what we have here, and it's clearly not the way to go. It's a shame, really. I'd very much like to hear this Pact With Solitude with the better production it deserves!
Well, well, well... So there are great moments, some bad ones, it's not mindblowing (yet), but strangely alluring despite its flaws. Sometimes it feels like an overglorified demo (the sound, the awkward parts), but it's without doubt much more than that, thanks to the raw talent and ambition displayed - the efforts needed to release a solo album like this can't be made by everyone! Anyway, I'm pretty curious to listen to his (their) next work, it should be interesting indeed.
Written on 14.06.2011 by
Used to be your regular Hellfest reporter, now almost retired . I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.