Published Apr 25, 2018In weakness there is strength, a paradox that happens to fit well in regards to Totalselfhatred's return after seven years with Solitude, and perhaps the depressive black metal genre as a whole.
In an elegant rotation of the more gentle, melancholic sections with those more frustrated and raw, Totalselfhatred inspire a surprising range of emotions, taking the expected hopeless darkness to heights of inverse beauty that, ironically, make Solitude highly enjoyable.
The dismal melodies are elegant and affecting, rather than melodramatic, and sometimes retain hints of a band like Mgla's grey atmosphere. But Totalselfhatred do not craft atmosphere as much as states of mind, which layer and overlap over the course of a song like "Black Infinity," in which misery, yearning, and grace come together to form a dense wall of feeling, rather than sound, and in that way even Deafheaven or Alcest could be cited.
While Totalselfhatred aren't quite blackgaze, the same poignancy can be heard throughout Solitude. The vocal delivery is wretched and agonized, reflecting a sincerity that stands apart from standard adversarial approach, instead communicating a genuine desperation that can both make the listener squirm or, perhaps, even connect their own pain to the music.
There is something fresh about the funereal fragility of Solitude and the feelings it appeals to in the listener. It encourages introspection and manages to stir up feelings that, while maybe hard for some to think about, can be a catharsis. (Osmose)