“Realm Of Ash And Blood”, the third album from Finland’s SOLOTHUS, drops a dripping broadsword of Cimmerian carnage and staggering Death-soaked Doom delirium on the scorched landscape from which only mounds of skull dust and obsidian shards shall remain. A win-win album for doomers and deatmetallers as well, enter the realm of devastation by the hand of Solothus!
Your last album No King Reigns Eternal (2016) received very good reviews, so I suppose these 4 years have been a long wait for the fans
Kari: Aye! I think it was about time we got this monster out! Weh ave been so damn busy with gigs and tours that it took us a long time to get this one done. I think you can really hear that the compising process took its sweet time as this album sounds more whole than our previous works. So far the reaction to „Realm of Ash and Blood“ has been tremendously positive.
“Realm Of Ash & Blood” is your third album, we find a new member, Aleksi Luukka on guitar, he entered last year, did he contribute to the new songs?
Kari: No, he does not play on our third album, but our old guitarist does. Veli writes all the music so no one else really has an impact on the songs themselves, more on the arrangements.
How long have you been working on “Realm Of Ash & Blood” and how was the recording process?
Kari: I think it took us maybe 3-4 months all in all. This time we decided to record the album with Lauri Laaksonen (Desolate Shrine, Convocation etc) to try something different and it really paid off as you can hear! It was great working with him! We also recorded vocals at Sounds from Below Studio with Tommi Ilmanen, so we had more time in doing those to. Lauri also mixed the album to make it sound heavy.
This time you work with 20 Buck Spin, which is quite logical taking in account the bands they have...
Kari: Working with David of 20 Buck Spin has been the right move to the right direction whic we needed to take. David is so damn enthusiastic dude and has ideas and vision and we can totally rely on him to get the job done. I think Solothus fits the roster of 20 Buck Spin perfectly as he has both Death and Doom Metal bands.
If you have never listened to Solothus and you watch the cover art, except for the logo, of course, you could imagine that you are in front of some epic metal band. Is there something of that in your music in this new album?
Kari: I think the themes and soundscapes do have a sense of epic in them and we take inspiration from Epic Doom Metal for sure. I have been told that Solothus sounds what Manilla Road would have sounded, if they played Death Metal. I take thas as an huge compliment!
Indeed, a very cool idea! Solothus sound continues where No King Reigns Eternal was, dark death doom. You find any sustancial differences between both albums?
Kari: The sonds are more compact and more well-thought. Veli took his sweet time in perfecting the songs and creating a sense of musical drama that carries out through whole album. I think we have just perfected more the essence what Solothus is: Death Metal meets Doom Metal.
One of the most distinctive elements in your music are the clean and emotional guitar solos, the album is full of that
Kari: Yes, I think one of the trademarks of Solothus is our lead guitarist/composer Veli’s guitar work. He has a rare talent in creating solos filled with emotion, a talent you do not see too often nowadays. He has always loved solos and guitar leads in music, so it was extremely natural that these elements have found their way in Solothus too. Who does not love a killer solo anyway?!
There are songs like Below Black Waters where Doom seems to win the game to Death but most of the songs have a balance between death and doom, how do you choose it?
Kari: It just comes naturally! The songs find their way to which mold they see most fit. Often we try to slow down the songs on purpose, because it sounds more heavy, but of course certain riffs need to have their relative speed in them. I think we feel most comfortable in the mid-tempo to slow crawl areas.
You close the album with the song A Rain Of Ash, in my opinion is the best of the album, a ten minutes travel with impressive solos and riffs
Kari: Yes, we feel extremely proud of that song! It was actually the first song composed for „Realm of Ash and Blood“. I think in a way it showed the way what the new album will sound like. It is a perfect album ender, it has faster parts, heavier parts, chugging riffs, clean passages and it ends in epic manner. Many have also raised this as the best song of the album and I can understand that very well.
You have a especial ability to induce sensations with your music, it goes clear with songs as The Watcher or the short Last Breath with a very suitable title
Kari: Thank you. It feels good to know our music has reached the audience. As stated before, Veli is a remarkable composer able to write heavy songs and full with emotion without sounding cheesy or lame.
What is easier to compose, short tracks or long ones?
Kari: Veli has told me that before the short ones were harder to compose, but currently they are coming more naturally to him to write. It is refresing to make shorter 5min songs, for before our tracks were almost all closer to 7-8min.
What are the lyrics about?
Kari: You can take the lyrics as short stories but there deeper things behind them than just sword&sorcery themes. I do not like to write in a manner where all are too clear. There needs to be a certain aspect of mystery and myth in the lyrics.
Thank you very much for your attention Kari, if you wish to add something…