Review
Sol
Let There be a Massacre

Ván (2007) Kevin Fitzpatrick

Sol – Let There be a Massacre cover artwork
Sol – Let There be a Massacre — Ván, 2007

You know how to work that evil shit when you can make an accordion sound sinister. Even by the strictest of doom metal standards this is one gloomy-ass album. Like a lot of the pure metal coming out of Europe these days, Sol is the work of one man, Denmark-born Emil Brahe, who has created perhaps the quintessential album of doom with Let There be a Massacre. Most bands of the doom metal ilk will drone on incessantly about the end of times in a general sense, but Sol wants to make it perfectly clear that they should be the ones to pull the trigger.

"If only I had a bullet for each human being / I'd promise this world a miracle"

The preceding quote was taken from "The Inanity of Man," one of seven tracks that'll have you reaching for the razor in no time. With the chorus vocal effect used on the ten-minute funeral dirge "Boginki" you can almost picture the "end is near" guy with his megaphone, announcing his sins to the indifferent masses. I won't lie to you; the album can be a tough listen. Fifty-seven minutes of rampant, unrelenting misanthropy and nihilism can be difficult to take in, but it's a dark journey worth taking.

There's what you would expect from song songs with titles like "Centuries of Human Filth," "Era of Decadence," and "Apathetic Pride." The glacier slow tempo met with nothing seemingly tuned above a C#. But it's songs like "Apocalypse" that really redefines the boundaries. And let's face it, in the doom/black metal genres the constrictive nature of the framework leaves little to no margin for growth. No, for the final track, Brahe employs three instruments that, in print sound like a ridiculous notion: an accordion, a clarinet, and a banjo which, when put together with lone, distant percussion effectively signifies the end of the world for a man who defines it as, "This is how life ends, with a final breath of regret".

This is a man seemingly steadfast in his beliefs and for all stones that can be cast at the sincerity of black or doom metal, there's not a single downtuned chord of this album that rings false.

Sol – Let There be a Massacre cover artwork
Sol – Let There be a Massacre — Ván, 2007

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