Released: 2009, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Solstice, from Miami, FL, are back - after trying to return to form in 2000 already, which never happened though. A new try in 2006 was more successful - and with almost the same line-up of the band that recorded Solstice´s 2nd album PRAY (and that was released by Steamhammer in 1995, 14 years ago). Only Alex Marquez (Malevolent Creation, Demolition Hammer, Hellwitch, etc.) on drums has been replaced by Brian Harris (see Metal-Archives.com for all the bands he has played with. A pretty impressive list of bands if you ask me respectively... ;)
Solstice´s 11-song demo that they are currently promoting to record companies and press mainly, has musically not that much in common with either their self-titled debut album (released on Steamhammer in 1992), or their 2nd album PRAY, but keep in mind it´s been 14 damn long years since their last album, PRAY, came out. Reproducing the same vibe and feeling Solstice had on those two, sort of landmark releases of theirs back in the day, is even realistically thinking, mission impossible. The band´s 11-song demo, is however, a very good and admirable effort from them to make an impact on people to say the least. In fact, this is undoubtedly their heaviest recording so far; more death metal type of recording and in a way it even could be said that sort of a right step from them to be taken in their lifespan, too.
Listening to Solstice´s latest demo, it´s nice to notice that the Solstice shredding machine is turned full steam on. The intensity is still there, the heaviness of the songs is there - so is all the aggression still one of the most relevant elements in their sound, and it all sounds like nothing´s gonna stop them this time around. Dennis Munoz´s lead work is thoroughly outstanding, Garrett Scott´s bass work is nicely audible through all the songs on the demo, Christian Rudes on vocals, hasn´t given up any of the wickedness with his ripping vocal parts - whereas Brian Harris behind the drums seems to pump constantly new blood into the Solstice machine with unrelenting power.
The band is back in a fine shape - and it can be heard through all these 10 new Solstice songs. Even a cover song of Cynic, "Extremes" (taken from their REFLECTIONS OF A DYING WORLD demo, recorded back in 1989), sounds ingeniously done, and can also be considered a very good choice from the Solstice-camp to pay their own tribute to one of the innovators of progressive, jazzy-tinged death metal ever, Cynic.
To spit the truth out, Solstice ´2nd coming´ is absolutely worth your attention simply based on the heavy and catchy grooviness of their songs that ejaculates blood all around like an old horny beast in the paradise of 10 000 wet pussies. Welcome back Solstice - this time only for good, I hope.