Black metal is already a great genre on it’s own but when kept at it’s rawest form with the cavernous instrumentals, dissonant vocals and just pure aggression, that’s when it is at it’s best. American black metal band Solitary Key has shown us that they can carry the torch that the first wave of black metal and modern raw black metal artists have paved ahead. This is the debut demo from this unknown band and already they have brought forth the spirit and musicianship that many have enjoyed with bands like Satanic Warmaster, Horna and Judas Iscariot. The primitive, raw and aggressive sound Solitary Key has forged is everything a fan of black metal could want.
The album permeates raw speed and drive in every track. The only track that is not chaotic and straight forward is “Initiation” which is the sounds of howling winds and other background ambiance. Every other track is pure black metal in it’s finest form. The fact the demo was recorded in the old style of straight to tape also adds to the lo-fi, primitive sound that many of today’s black metal bands have left behind. The group also adds some keyboard melodies that dance around behind the main instruments which add to the occult sound the band has made as their theme. The songs also bounce a bit into some “black & roll” styles which is also a refreshing change up from the monotonous sounds of today’s black metal.
All and all, this is a solid demo that I would purchase on tape to add along to my 90’s black metal collection. If you are a fan of Satanic Warmaster, Horna, Lurker of Chalice, Judas Iscariot or just lo-fi black metal done perfectly, then check out this band!
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Review by Neil Andersen