Soluthus contacted me a while back about a potential review for their EP, Ritual of the Horned Skull, and it’s been in my “commonly played” pile for weeks and now I can finally get the damn review done. Soluthus are yet another underground doom death metal band to emerge from the frozen depths of the Finnish metal pool that completely slay, so fans of Autopsy, Hooded Menace, Cianide, and Coffins will definitely want to hear this EP.

Only three songs in length, but that’s all that’s needed to incinerate and crush your being into ash like a volcanic boulder of lava. “Throne of Bones” starts out with a rumbling doom bass line, then the guitar comes in a bit over the rhythm and I’m thinking “raw doom like Burning Witch”, but then the battalion of bone sawing down tuned riffs begin to rip and I’m feeling classic Swedish Death Metal as a hail storm of bones buries me alive. I’m feeling a more THC fueled and drunken Dismember’s “Death Evocation”, Furbowl “ Damage Done”, or possibly those two songs mixed with some classic Electric Wizard. Seriously, this Son of a Bitch will rip your torso open with those insane riffs that can almost redefine “heavy” in death metal all over again. If you feel that in some ways the ugly, horror and macabre, and importance of down tuning a guitar almost to the point where the strings are loose enough to sag and delivering blunt force trauma head wounds with each chord strike then Solothus is for you.

“Embrace the Cold” starts out with another heavy rattling doom bass beast alongside this really creepy and haunting middle eastern guitar lead in, which adds a nice tension build up and a charred smoldering atmosphere of post chainsaw psycho slaughter attack. The band keeps this trudging massively dense gravitational field of blood drenched death doom going and building up consistently for about four minutes until they just start with a melodic shredding of grey putrid flesh and violently cut that tension with a serrated blade.

“Darkness Gathers Here At Night” brings in more of the scorching leads and melodic touches and lightens up as if the beast of Solothus has finally emerged from the beyond to feast upon the living. This is the song that really shows the bands skills and versatility, the way the guitar and bass layer each other perfectly and the switches between full on rhythm killings and topping those moments of helter skelter with shearing leads, and the way they can switch from zombie doom death graveyard murk to full-on war raging all in one song.

I love it when bands like these guys find me and wake up my tired ears with something other than the usual Incantation worship, sludge project, or the diarrhea of new-old school. Solothus remind me of when I could pick up a tape or CD or get one from a friend and it would satiate my need for death and doom head banger vibes, and there was rarely ever two bands that sounded alike yet they kept true to the style. This EP is actually a Demo and already sold out, but check the band out and at least hear them and push for them to keep this madness going.