Celestial Season are an interesting band. They formed in the early 90s and produced two classic doom metal albums, before suddenly changing into a stoner rock band. “Solar Lovers” is their second and final doom album before their radical change in style. Their first album, “Forever Scarlet Passion” was a typical doom metal release, in the vein of early My Dying Bride or Anathema: slow, heavy and depressing. “Solar Lovers” differs from that record in two main ways: firstly it is somewhat “groovier”. There are a couple of rocky guitar solos, some fairly funky drumming (see the beginning of “Dancing to 1000 symphonies”) and a cover of the early 80s pop hit “Vienna”. Secondly, they have hired two very talented violinists who provide a completely new edge and multi dimensional feel to the music. This is not to say that this album is not doom metal, however. Most of the typical doom elements are there in abundance: slow, heavy riffs, droning vocals… In my opinion, the addition of violins adds amazingly to the melancholic atmosphere and the emotional depth of the music.
There is a strange mix between some songs which are more traditional doom such as “Will You Wait for the Sun?” which happens to be my least favourite song, more progressive songs like “Solar Child”, which gives a hint of their later music, and melodic songs like “Dancing…” which is based heavily around a beautiful dual violin melody. The highlights of the album for me are “Decamerone” and “The Scent of Eve”. The former intertwines the violins and guitars to incredible effect, creating an incredible atmosphere of beauty and darkness, and which is the most listnened to song out of the 800 or so on my ipod. The latter also has some stunningly beautiful violin sections as well as one of my favourite guitar riffs ever. “Dancing to a thousand symphonies” is an almost uplifting song with an a fantastic drum introduction and amazing violins. The whole album creates an amazing atmosphere and has some incredible riffs and violin passages. Its kind of a pity that they gave up this style, because this is one of the most effective doom metal albums that I have ever heard.
Solar Child 5:14
Body As Canvas 0:57
Soft Embalmer Of The Still Midnight 6:46
Will You Wait For The Sun? 6:41
The Holy Snake 1:28
Dancing To A Thousand Symphonies 3:11
The Scent Of Eve 8:53
A Tune From The Majestic Queen’s Garden 1:49