By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
The promotion materials for this Dallas band declare them to be "the masters of doom metal," and though such claims are certainly difficult to verify, one can say that these two reissues from the late '80s represent a well-hidden underbelly of local debauchery. Formed by John Perez of Rotting Corpse fame and featuring Lyle Steadham (who went on to lead Ghoultown), this dour quartet laid down a menacing and pretentious gloom for more than a decade.
Vocalist Rob Lowe, who now fronts Sweden's Candlemass, was capable of actually singing as opposed to the Cookie Monster meets Beelzebub theatrics of today's metal screechers. Taking the basic thud and thunder approach of classic Black Sabbath and updating it with a surprisingly progressive panache, Solitude Aeturnus could almost overcome the inherent lyrical pomposity that always seems to overshadow nearly everyone in the genre. It is simply hard not to giggle as the band locks into an ominous groove only to have Lowe sing about "The Plague of Procreation" or the "Dawn of Antiquity." Perhaps auditioning for a role in Spinal Tap II, the band never allowed humor to enter the equation, as if doing so would somehow damage their standing in the heavy metal hotbeds of Norway and Holland.
Yet despite their pretensions or maybe even because of them, Solitude Aeturnus is one of the few local bands to move beyond dingy Deep Ellum and ply its craft among the more enlightened rogues of Scandinavia.
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