Music is not just a noise. It is not just a combination of instruments to form some aesthetically pleasing sound. It is not just some words strung loosely to a bass line with a few ‘oooohs’ and ‘aaaahs’ here and there. No, music is more than that. Music is art, emotion, life.
One can argue I am saying this because I am a music journalist, but take a moment and ponder the theory. The one common factor every style of music has is its ability to make one feel. Any song can take one on an emotional journey and have them come out a different person in the end. This is why we have particular songs for particular moods. Angry music for angry moments, sad music for depressing moments, happy music for joyful moments; and once the song is over we will feel whatever emotion we need to.
Of Solitude And Solemn’s ‘Illuminance’ is one of those tracks that take you an emotional rollercoaster, spitting you out on the other side confused and breathless. Being an unmastered, unmixed DIY experiment can probably account for the raw beauty of ‘Illuminance’, but even if it doesn’t this symphonic black metal melody is the kind that creeps into your soul and draws you out.
‘Illuminance’ reminds me of an epic Norwegian film where brave warriors must go fight an unknown, faceless evil to protect the lives of their people. It could have been the soundtrack to The 13th Warrior. While listening to this track I could see the actors standing on the ship deck amidst a heavy fog, clutching their swords to their chests. This was the imagery the first two minutes created in my mind’s eye – an introduction to the players and our adventure.
Suddenly, an emphasis on lead guitar causes a swelling of the heart as you know your warriors are safe. However, the steady drums indicate it is merely a calm before the storm. The interjection of lyrics allows for the bond between the listener and warriors to increase. It is a case of the warriors speaking, cementing an alliance.
At 5:27 a strong bass solo emerges, beating as quickly as your own heart. You see your warriors fall. You hear the pain and emptiness. You smell and taste the blood as a knot forms in your throat, and by the end you are weeping. However, you know this is not the end as the repetitive drumming trails off leaving us open to a sequel filled with revenge.
While I have never been a fan of tracks exceeding ten minutes, I would have ‘Illuminance’ on repeat. Of Solitude And Solemn are telling a tale of epic proportions using minimal lyrics, and who doesn’t like a story?
Listen to the track here: https://soundcloud.com/joenoctus/of-solitude-and-solemn