|Title:||Pale Distant Light|
It had been a while since I had last managed to put my hands on some new material to review. In fact that was quite expected, having to go through a couple of house movings while settling in a new full-time job as well. Whenever I happen to stay away from music for a while, I always enjoy getting back on track via something familiar and pleasant (even when we're talking about doom or black metal). I can say that Soul Dissolution, in this precise moment of my existence, played exactly this role.
This Belgian act welcomes us with a title ("Pale Distant Light") that screams post-black metal in all of its parts. The cover artwork also gives a clear idea of the concept and atmosphere behind this record, as we face faraway hopes enshrouded in some sort of mist, seemingly unattainable. These are typical images in a certain strand of post-black metal, and it doesn't come off as a surprise to know that the composition of this album started back in 2011. Nevertheless, Soul Dissolution doesn't necessarily sound like another one of Alcest's, or Lantlôs' clones.
The duo composed of Acharon (vocals) and Jabawock (everything else) has worked for a long time on what had started as a side project, before becoming an actual band. In February 2016 this record finally saw that light (as a physical release) that seemed so distant. Among the many positive post-black metal things that can be found on here — and that will make many fans of the genre pretty happy — I have also surprisingly discovered a certain mid-tempo vein, not too far from the style made famous by the Irish act Primordial (such as in "The Red Painting In The Sky" or "Anchor").
Soul Dissolution carry us through weariness and sorrow towards the horizon, without losing sight of that light, that motivation, structurally represented by the triptych "The Final Dissolution". The three-part epic follows in the steps of a particular strand of modern black metal (among others we can think of Agalloch). An explosion of blast beat and distortions accompanied by the desperate shrieks of the narrator, struggling to find a meaning, and proceeding on the journey. The quiet instrumental interlude in part 2 paves the way to the moment of awareness that comes with the final section. The record goes on to finish with a homage to October Tide in the cover of "Sweetness Dies", as if to state that the duo's research has also moved away from black or post-metal.
We might say that "Pale Distant Light" by Soul Dissolution seems like a record released two or three years ago (which is quite understandable, considering when the composition process started), but at the same time it refers to something relevant in the present as well. Moreover, the two musicians succeeded at creating some new post-black metal without sounding like the usual suspects' cousins. Recommended album.