We all had big plans this summer, didn’t we? Lots of stuff going on, places to go, people to be around, whether we like that or not. I had two big metal festivals this year that I was really excited about (three if you count me driving to MDF for one day just to see Dismember), and sadly, all of that has flown out the window for all of us.
I was really looking forward to June’s Metal Immortal Festival here in Pittsburgh, the second installment of the annual event that sadly now will not be happening until 2021 because of this goddamn virus. Not only was I excited about seeing friends and spending money on a bunch of merch, but the lineup was set to be killer. One band on the bill was West Coast-based speed metal pounders Sölicitör, who are getting ready to deliver their furious first full-length “Spectral Devastation,” a huge blast of metal that feels like it emanates from 40 years ago. That’s a good thing. There are a lot of bands delving back into older vibes, but few pull it off in a way that sounds like they actually belong there. Sölicitör pull it off seamlessly on this eight-track, 40-minute album where the band— vocalist Amy Lee Carlson, guitarists Matthew Vogan and Patrick Fry, bassist Damon Cleary-Erickson, drummer Johann Waymire—feels like a group that’s been together far long than their mere two years.
“Blood Revelations” opens the record full steam ahead, galloping through NWOBHM glory, with Carlson wailing about “unholy vengeance and steel.” The soloing screams out, leading into a quick shout-back section that reminds of the “die by my hand” segment of “Creeping Death” (nice touch!) before the guitars go off again. “Betrayer” follows with glorious guitar work, and a simple, yet effective chorus that should jolt live. Riffs hammer as the playing stomps guts, the soloing chars flesh, and the track blasts home. “The Red Queen” has a folk-flavored riff out front before the song takes on a vintage Priest vibe. “She’s a nightmare in disguise,” Carlson warns, before she follows up with, “She’s a killer on the run.” Some of the singing is a little raspy and edgy, which is a cool change of pace, and strong soloing sends huge gusts of wind that rampage the song to its acoustic outro. “Leathür Streets” explodes out of the gates with some killer classic guitar work and another infectious chorus that goes down easy. “I’m going to get you with your back against the wall, Carlson warns amid nasty speed that leaves abrasions.
“Night Vision” lets acoustics set the stage before the power kicks in, and Carlson wails about “evil in the night.” Soloing tears away while the pace steamrolls, slicing and dicing before landing some final fatal blows. “Terminal Race” is crunchy as hell and goes right for the jugular, with Carson declaring, “Metal never dies!” Now that your blood is racing, they follow up with smearing soloing and a back end that tears things apart, ending in a pit of fire. “Spectres of War” has a burly start, punching hard with Carlson commanding, “Soon you’ll be caught in the crossfire!” Sirens go off as the band thrashes mightily as a searing solo erupts, and the track suffocates you in rubble. “Grip of the Fist” closes things out burning in with a powerful attack as the riffs hammer away. “Beware! The iron first!” Carlson wails as the intensity manages to get even more insane, and the track ends in a blaze of glory.
So, the summer may already be ruined and live shows might not be happening, but that doesn’t mean music is dead, and sure as hell metal will survive. Sölicitör aren’t backing down from anything, and their debut “Spectral Devastation” lights up serious fires and injects with power and glory that we all could bask in for a while. I’m excited to one day be able to see this band live and get my ass kicked with metal that pays homage to the roots and blazes trails into the future.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/solicitor.speedmetal/
To buy the album, go here: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/store/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/