Those Of Honor


SOLAMNIA is a "Symphonic Epic Metal" band spawned from the personal compositions of Symphonic Death […]
By Julius "Dreadheart" Mikkela
April 15, 2014
Solamnia - Those Of Honor album cover

SOLAMNIA is a "Symphonic Epic Metal" band spawned from the personal compositions of Symphonic Death Metal band ENTHRING's former drummer Mika Lumijärvi, who now debut with their EP "Those Of Honor".

Normally I'd question a band's decision to call themselves an "Epic Metal" band, which more often than not simple means Power or Folk Metal with some Symphonic elements, but in the case of SOLAMNIA I have to cede this stance. This isn't Power Metal. This isn't Folk Metal. This isn't Symphonic Metal, although that's probably the closest thing I'd be willing to call it. No, this is an unusual fusion of these three genres that together with carefully used elements of both Black and Death metal reaches into Soundtrack music. Add to this a Progressive kind of song structure and a varied use of instruments that at times plays in Avant-Garde territory, and you might as well throw what you thought you knew about this kind of music out the window because this EP will surprise you time and time again.

First off on the album is the 3 minutes and 23 seconds long "Ante Proelium", which is a soundtrack-esque intro track with a really medieval and magical sound that in many ways give a taste of what the rest of the album's sound is about except without the Metal elements. "Warrior's Trail" kicks off the Metal and introduces the listener to the band's rather unique take on playing with genres, as the Extreme Metal blasts and vocals are backed by a Symphonically Folky soundtrack that at first seems off but eventually grows on you, only to turn into a female-lead Power Metal-esque ballad and then return to its harsher beginnings but this time accompanied and fused with the female vocals. This theme of having songs dynamically change time and time again occurs over and over throughout the album, and it makes for a very entertaining listen. The third track, "The Lair", starts off with a sweet little folky tune, makes a swift turn into a guitar-lead Power Metal glory ride, hits the gas petal back into SOLAMNIA's harsher styles and then invites back the female-lead vocals and Power Metal-esque style which plays side-by-side until the end of the song. "Once Upon a Time...", like the intro track, is devoid of traditional Metal elements and rather plays like a soundtrack as it moves from the natural sounds of chirping birds to a piano track to a cloister-like orchestra, then back into a more epic sound as it fades into the last track on the sadly rather short album; "In a Land of Oppression", which is the most straight-forward track on the album and plays on a rather evenly high tempo from beginning to end while allowing all the styles they've played with up until this point merge and exchange fluently.

SOLAMNIA may be a band that will have elitists and Metal professors scratching their heads at their varying styles and compositions, but there's no denying that "Those of Honor" is an exceptional debut EP with excellent sound quality, good songs with great variety and most importantly an intriguing promise of things to come - and I for one will be eagerly waiting to hear more from these Epic Metallers.

8 / 10


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"Those Of Honor" Track-listing:

1. Ante Proelium
2. Warrior's Trail
3. The Lair
4. Once Upon a Time...
5. In a Land of Oppression

Solamnia Lineup:

Mika Lumijärvi - Drums
Ilkka Valkonen - Vocals
Veronika Paschenko - Vocals
Tommi Kangaskortet - Guitars

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