Solitude Aeturnus

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Solitude Aeturnus
Also known as Solitude
Origin Arlington, Texas, USA
Genres Epic doom metal
Years active 1987–present
Labels Roadrunner, Massacre
Members John Perez
Robert Lowe
Steve Moseley
James Martin
Steve Nichols
Past members Chris Hardin
Tom Martinez
Kris Gabehardt
Brad Kane
Lyle Steadham
John Covington
Edgar Rivera
Kurt Joye

Solitude Aeturnus is an American epic doom metal[1] band that was started in spring 1987 as Solitude, in Arlington, Texas. Their vocalist, Robert Lowe, was also the singer for the influential doom metal band Candlemass between 2007 and 2012. Former bassist Lyle Steadham is now guitarist and lead vocalist for the horrorpunk/psychobilly band Ghoultown.

Biography[edit]

Formed in the spring of 1987, Solitude Aeturnus are still pummeling souls into doom metal submission to this day! Out of a sheer dark desire to spread the power of heavy head swirling and pounding hell metal the band pushes onward.

The line up began as darkened soul, John Perez, quit his former seminal thrash metal band Rotting Corpse in early '87. Perez, already a veteran metal dog, had begun to tire of the limitations of thrash and soon saw the path to righteousness in all things heavy. Already a long time follower of the Sabbath heavy sounds of early 80's groups like Witchfinder General, St. Vitus, Black Hole, Nemesis and the like, Perez knew that the time was right to make a move into this art form known then as Doom Metal! Perez assembled a group of musicians over the next year namely; Brad Kane - Drums (an early 80's Bay area thrasher metal brother!), Kris Gabehardt - vocals (previously with over the top Satanic death metal band Death Tripper), Tom Martinez - guitar and Chris Hardin - bass. After writing songs and rehearsing up until December 1987, the band entered the studio in Jan 1988 to record their legendary 5 song demo entitled "Justice For All". It should be noted that this title and demo preceded the Metallica album of the same name by some 7 months! Also of interest is that the bands name at this time was Solitude. It would not be until two years later that the band would be forced to change the name to Solitude Aeturnus.

After the release of the demo, various gigs around the local area followed. The response was lukewarm at best since no one around the area knew what to think of a band that actually played ultra heavy, slow and with melody. In late '88 changes started to occur within the band and without going into too many details the members of the band all changed finally settling on a line up that consisted of Perez - still on guitars of course, Edgar Rivera - guitars, Robert Lowe - vocals, Lyle Steadham - bass and John "Wolf" Covington on drums. This line up would last for the next 7 years taking the band all the way to 1996. Of special interest is that Lyle Steadham actually joined the band on drums while Chris Hardin was still on bass. This particular line up recorded the second official demo of the band containing two classic tracks, "Mirror of Sorrow" and "Opaque Divinity". Lyle would shortly move over to bass duties as Hardin left the band and Covington joined.

This two song tape caught the attention of the independent label King Klassic (anyone ever hear of the great Oxenkiller on their label?! Ahem!). The band entered the prestigious Dallas Sound Lab in January 1990 to record their classic debut album, "Into the Depths of Sorrow". After a disastrous first mix the band went back to Sound Logic Studios (where the two demos were done) for a remix. It was a nightmare to try to fix but the band managed to capture a great, albeit raw sound nonetheless. The whole album was recorded for a paltry sum of $3000 and done in 7 days including the remix. Shortly after the album was delivered the album suffered an insane delay due to King Klassic not having the money to put it out. After some shopping around the album eventually caught the attention of Roadrunner Records and a licensed deal followed by Solitude Aeturnus signing directly to Roadrunner followed. After numerous other delay's the album finally saw the light of day in July 1991 a full year and half after the album was recorded!! No tours followed although by this time SA had already written enough songs for a second album. In March 1992 the band entered Sound Logic recording studios to begin the sessions for the second album, "Beyond the Crimson Horizon"

The budget for "Beyond" was much greater and as a result the sound was improved. The album was released in July 1992 and eventually a US tour was set up in late Nov. with Paul Dianno's Killers. The tour lasted six weeks and was a great success for the band. Shortly after in Feb. of '93 the band were dropped from Roadrunner. This came as a sigh of relief for the band as the proper support from Roadrunner never came their way. It wouldn't be until December that the band would finally sign a new recording contract with up and coming label, Pavement Records.

The band decided to get away from their familiar surroundings and took off for England to record their third album, Through the Darkest Hour. Recorded in late March of '94at Rhthym Studios, this was to be the bands best work to date, showing a more simple and heavier direction. The production was also at its best ever and the band were moving their way up the metal ladder. "Darkest Hour" received critical acclaim all across the globe upon its release in August 1994. After a few months of negotiating, the band went on the road with metal legends Mercyful Fate for an extensive US tour. The tour was six weeks of metal glory and shortly after the band embarked on their first tour of Europe with fellow doom band Revelation. After this tour the band went through a long break that would last until the April of 1996 when recording for the next album commenced. During this time Perez started his own Brainticket Records label as well as recording a solo album under the name of The Liquid Sound Company. The next album, "Downfall" was recorded in Dallas TX and despite receiving praise once again for their efforts, the band were extremely dissatisfied with the end product. The songs were top notch but the production quality of the album was poor. After years of hard knocks and never ending struggles the band underwent their first (and only) major line up change.

Lyle Steadham left the band shortly after the recording of Downfall. Reasons being that he was sick of all the bullshit and also needed a change of scenery so to speak and did so by forming punk band the Killkreeps. The band continued on enlisting the services of Teri Pritchard (Last Chapter) in as temporary bassist. It was this line up that toured Europe in April of '96 with Swedish power metal band Morgana Lafey. Another unintentional break followed and a split from Pavement Records eventually occurred. During this time new bass player, Steve Mosley was added to the band. A long time friend and fan of the band, Steve was the perfect replacement for Lyle. The band then signed on to German label Massacre Records in December '97 and recorded what was to become their masterpiece, "Adagio". This time going back to Rhythm Studios in England the album was recorded in March '98 and released in June of the same year. The band toured Europe in September of '98 with Savior Machine in support of the record. Adagio finally saw a U.S. release in January 1999 through Olympic Records. Being distributed through Polygram, the Olympic deal gave the band even greater exposure in the native country.

Members[edit]

Current members
  • John Perez – guitars (1987–present)
  • Robert Lowe – lead vocals (1988–present)
  • Steve Moseley – guitars (2004–present), bass (1998–2004)
  • James Martin – bass (2005–present)
  • Steve Nichols – drums, percussion (2005–present)
Former members
  • Chris Hardin – bass (1987–1989)
  • Tom Martinez – guitars (1987–1989)
  • Kris Gabehardt – lead vocals (1987–1988)
  • Brad Kane – drums, percussion (1987–1988)
  • Lyle Steadham – bass (1989–1996)
  • John Covington – drums, percussion (1990–2005)
  • Edgar Rivera – guitars (1990–1998)
  • Kurt Joye – bass (2004–2005)
Session musicians
  • Teri Pritchard – bass (1997)
  • David Header – drums, percussion (2005)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Other releases[edit]

  • Justice for All... (demo, 1988)
  • Demo 89 (1989)
  • Days of Doom (1994) (VHS tape featuring rare and unreleased performances and studio footage of the recording of their first three albums)
  • Hour of Despair (DVD, 2007)
  • In Times of Solitude (compilation, 2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Santos, José Carlos (2012). "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus". In Terrorizer 's Secret History of Doom Metal, pp. 60-62, ISSN 2041-2142