Solar Deity – The Darkness Of Being [9.5 out of 10]

By Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal

After listening to Mumbai-based black metal band Solor Deity’s debut album “In The Name Of Satan”, I had a feeling this could be the start of something good, and I had hoped that there would be lots more to look forward to from this band. They proved me right by following up this debut album with a DSBM single called “Snowless”, which presented a different facet of the duo’s black metal prowess, and served as a good appetizer for the second studio-album. “The Darkness Of Being” was unleashed upon us last July, and for me it felt great to realize that Solar Deity is continuing the pattern of releasing good music, because after listening to it thoroughly, I have no doubt that its excellence surpasses that of the band’s previous efforts.

For starters, this album boasts of a greater depth of music, with just three tracks taking up the entire 22-minute duration. I think it gives the listener plenty of time to get used to the ebbs and flows in the music. There are quite a few variations within each track, but each one blends into the next gradually and smoothly, making it an enjoyable listening experience.

“Circling The Moon” is a masterpiece in itself, and almost feels like listening to a story, such is its progressive nature. In addition, the various musical passages have a lot of repetition within them. Repetition in music is most often considered as a negative, but I think in this case it really fits, and the repetitions persuade the listener into a mental state wherein he or she gets completely engrossed in this album. I actually found it pretty hard to move on to the next track, because I kept listening to this one again and again.

But finally when I did listen to “Towards The Horizon”, I was amazed. The prominence of the bass is purely delightful, and its interplay with the pristine guitar sounds is just spellbinding. I thought the first track was really atmospheric, but this one goes even deeper, and is even more powerful. The clean vocals add further to the beauty of this track. But perhaps the best quality of this song is the absence of drums, which just amplifies the impact of the guitar, bass and vocals tenfold.

The longest piece of this composition is the third and final track “The Birth Of A Star”, and in many ways it’s a summarization of what the band has done so far in their short career. It has a strong element of the straight-up black metal that typifies the debut effort, but is underlined by the atmospheric feel of the new album. I think it’s an interesting way to end the album. It’s like the open ending of a movie, leaving room for plenty of different possibilities in terms of the musical direction for the band’s next album.

Talking of the production and mixing, I strongly believe that this album sounds better, and Sahil Makhija a.k.a Demonstealer has done a killer job with it in his studio. Aakash Dwivedi’s artwork is top-notch as usual. Overall, I don’t find anything in this album that I would complain about. If anything, it should have been a little longer, or should have had another track, because I thought another quiet, super-atmospheric track, somewhat like “Towards The Horizon”, would bring a more apt end to the album. But other than that, this is excellent from start to finish.

A couple of months back, I asked Aditya Mehta whether his death metal band Exhumation are planning to do any gigs, and he told me he was concentrating mainly on Solar Deity. His dedication and high level of effort towards this band has definitely paid off, because the result is right in front of us, in the form of “The Darkness Of Being”. This extremely intense and powerful yet soothing and atmospheric album is worth your time. It’s streaming in its entirety on Solar Deity’s bandcamp and can be found easily on YouTube, but I would suggest people to buy the album and support these guys so they can afford to record more albums and keep giving us such pieces of brilliance.

Rating: 9.5/10

Record Label: Nephalist Recordings
Release Date: July 2012

Track Listing:
1. Circling The Moon
2. Towards The Horizon
3. The Birth Of A Star