PUREST OF PAIN
Solipsis has been a long time coming. Purest of Pain is a Dutch melodic death metal band that, while beloved in the Netherlands, has never made a full-length album in its past. No one who has listened to them could ever doubt they possessed the talent to take them far. In the 10 years since the band was established, they have been building a Dutch fan base and released 2011's Revelations in Obscurity (4 song EP ), and 2013's Momentum ( single ). However, in addition to establishing a fan base for this full length debut album, the bandmates had other projects on their plates, including other bands they were in. It is a relief to know that crowdfunding and hard work have given us a chance to now enjoy this full album by the brilliant folks in Purest of Pain.
From its first note Solipsis is like a fusing of two voices, one brutal and one angelic. That marriage is just one example of what makes this album a jaw-dropping sensation and from the passion of that joining the listener can feel the sheer amount of affection the band has poured into it. The farthest recesses of deepest inner-self have been conjured forth to build this majestic masterpiece of music.
Truth - Seeker
Crown Of Worms
The Sleep Of Reason
Trial & Error
According to Purest of Pain's FB page, "‘Solipsis’ is a guitar oriented album, recorded as organically as possible to ensure that the band’s formidable live performance has been captured in the recordings. Written mostly by Merel, (fellow guitarist Michael van Eck wrote the song ‘E.M.D.R.’) with all lyrics coming from J.D. Kaye, ‘Solipsis’ is at times technical and challenging, but is undeniably driven by a relentless groove, enhanced by hugely melodic passages, wonderful tone and moments of ambient clarity."
This is a fantastic depiction of Solipsis, indeed the music and lyrics mesh so seamlessly it is hard to imagine it isn't the same evil genius writing it all. However, it is significant that the
lyrics and music are written by different artists. It's not really a surprise this album would sound superb though. Independent musicians have to work extra hard to scrape together the magic
which allows their fans to hear their sound babies. If a label gets interested in a band, they will often offer to the sign them. Some standards that cannot be negotiated away include: the label
then owns all of that band's music and take responsibility for many things which band members are no longer permitted to do on their own. Basically, labels divorce an artist from their art. Not
all labels are malicious but they are businesses and usually focus more on money than art. Therefore, when you see a band like Purest of Pain step into the arena and come out with such a
substantial independent album it is very reassuring.
When I spoke to the band's drummer, Joey De Boer, he clarified what it meant to the band to be independent musicians. I asked if he thought crowdfunding had any future in metal and he replied, "I think that keeping control and rights of your own music is important. We decide where we want to go with our music, and when. With a label that’s different. This way we really bring albums to you guys that we want you to hear. And you see a slight movement in the scene this way. So that's interesting.”
Purest of Pain funded this new adventure through their fans with an Indiegogo campaign which reached the funding goal rapidly and then surpassed it with 189%. Another issue a lot of indie musicians generally have is production quality but from the first bar of the intro song, "The Pragmatic," one can be assured stellar sound quality on this gorgeous compilation. The album has the practiced feel of professionals who know their trade. The beginning song serves as an intro similar to a classical album and the last song, aptly named, "The End", serves as an outro. In between are twelve amazing full-length songs. "The Solipsis" is one of the first songs released and the only one, (at the time this review was written), to have a lyric video. It sounds like a great ending to an album so I was pleased to see it was the last song before, "The End." My other favorite from this album is the strongly written "Crown of Worms" which grabs the listener from the first lyric: "Hate! Betrayal. Malicious intent. These are a few of my closest friends." This entire album slays and J.D. Kaye is one of those singers with unclean vocals who remains easy to understand and enjoy.
If I had to describe the band's overall sound to someone who hadn't yet heard them, they sound like a combination of Arch Enemy and Rapsody performing at the same time. It seems an impossible match but it works so well. J.D. Kaye is indeed an amazing lyricist and I had no idea Merel could write like this. I am not sure what I expected from this album but whatever it was they have vastly outdone themselves. As Andrea, from our writing team, stated, "It's one hell of an album."
Indeed, it seems Purest of Pain took everyone by surprise with this one. This is excellent work. I don't know what kind of response Purest of Pain has received so far, but I have listened to it numerous times already and would definitely recommend Solipsis to any metalhead. This music just seems to work for everyone. Even people who don't care for death metal have enthusiastically hopped on board after Purest of Pain released a song or two. Overall if forced to give this impressive album a rating I would give it a 9/10, but when considering it as a first full-length album I hesitantly would even give it a 10/10.
For More Info Visit:
Buy Solipsis: http://purestofpain.com/
Learn more about the band: http://www.purestofpain.com/home/
J.D. Kaye (vocals)
Merel Bechtold (guitar)
Michael van Eck (guitar)
Frank van Leeuwen (bass)
Joey de Boer (drums)
Picture by: Albert Jolen