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 horror punk/psychobilly band Ghoultown.

Biography[edit]

Formed in the spring of 1987, the line up began as John Perez, quit his former seminal thrash metal band Rotting Corpse in early 1987. Perez, already a veteran in the metal scene, had begun to tire of the limitations of thrash and sought a new sound. Already a long time follower of the early 1980s classic doom groups like Witchfinder General, St. Vitus, Black Hole, Nemesis and the like, Perez decided to adopt a doom metal sound. Perez assembled a group of musicians over the next year namely; Brad Kane - Drums (another member of the early 1980s thrash scene), 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 band's 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 the band. 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 - guitars, 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. 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 a 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 delays 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 the band 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 November with Paul Di'Anno's Killers. The tour lasted six weeks and was a great success for the band. Shortly after in February of 1993 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 1994 at Rhythm Studios, this was to be among the band's best work to date, showing a more simple and heavier direction. The production was also at its best 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 lasted six weeks 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. Primary because he was tired of the group's sound and eventually formed punk band the Killkreeps. The band continued on enlisting the services of Teri Pritchard in as temporary bassist. It was this line up that toured Europe in April of 1996 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 1997 and recorded what was to become their masterpiece, "Adagio". This time going back to Rhythm Studios in England the album was recorded in March 1998 and released in June of the same year. The band toured Europe in September of 1998 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)
Timeline

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