What If This Was Everything

Solus Grief

Smartly written and takes the listener on a dark path.
November 16, 2023

SOLUS GRIEF is a one man Norwegian atmospheric black metal band that formed in 2022. ‘What If This Was Everything’ is the project’s second album. This is one of the most depressing and despondent black metal albums I’ve heard all year—this is absolutely tortuous. I mean that in a good way but this is one of those albums that you are going to like or hate. It may be atmospheric but the air that moves through the music isn’t breathable. There is nothing calm, smooth, or gentle about this album.

The production isn’t glossy but not overly raw either so all the cold, lifeless energy flows surprisingly well for music of this variety. Musically, it alternates between more riff based passages, dismal melodies but, at times, pulls back on more guitar oriented structures and lets the music become a huge wall of sound. Despite what direction the songs may take, the songwriting is very organic and nothing ever feels disjointed. The album opens with ‘Upon The Winds, My Breath Left,’ and within seconds the tone is set. The slow, melancholic guitar is pieced together in notes that build up and swirl around the harrowing, blackened vocals. The drums keep the tempo up, content on keeping the black metal intensity no matter how atmospheric the music gets. The riffs are deep and full but this song is more about mood and setting than more riff based structures.

Within The Fires,’ is a more violent approach, a complete rager at times. The guitars take a more solid, prominent approach too but the melody that arrives near the last half of the song after the nine minute mark is a standout moment. The song is over twelve minutes in length but uses the time well and never feels that long. The title track is a great overview of what the album is doing because it provides a nice balance between atmosphere and heavier moments. The bass in particular stands out, a superb rhythmic foundation that adds a lot of depth to the music while keeping it appropriately dark. The guitars get low and hard halfway through, a very menacing tone that pushes the song into new territory while driving it towards a melancholic finish.

The cold, clean keys of the final song ,’Of The Earth Cold,’ is a wonderful way to start the song and leaves it open for the guitars to bring about a bit of doom metal flavoring. The beginning has a methodical feel, the misery allowed time to sink in. The guitars open up soon after with some of the best riffs on the album. The builds up its energy and it breaks out after the seven minute mark. All in all, SOLUS GRIEF have made an album in ‘What If This Was Everything’ that could turn the sunniest days cloudy but it is also smartly written and takes the listener on a dark path that might make the mind question the point of going on but is definitely a path that should be taken.

8 / 10









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"What If This Was Everything" Track-listing:
  1. Upon The Winds, My Breath Left
  2. Within The Fires
  3. What If This Was Everything
  4. Of The Earth Cold
Solus Grief Lineup:

Peregrinus - Everything

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