“The Solitude Of Man” is the debut album by Scottish duo Chronocide, who have the sole intention of “creating harsh, abrasive music without category or limitation”. The album was recorded and mixed by Chronocide core members Nothus and Eversor before being mastered by Mick Kenney of Anaal Nathrakh. It has recently been giving a release by FETO Records (the label run by Kenney and Napalm Death’s Shane Embury)
The album opens with instrumental intro ‘Not One Worm’ is a two-minute crescendo of raw sounding swirling noise sound reminiscent of early 90’s back metal. This then launches straight into ‘Children Of Thalidomide’, that sets the scene for the rest of the album, the closing line of “How can we be saved, if we’re dead before we’re born” pretty much sums up the mood of the album.
‘Litany’ starts off with a blur of riffs and drums that brings to mind early grindcore, before ‘Society Of The Spectacle’ relentlessly hammers at your brain. ‘Lambs To Lions’ add a little death metal riffing to the mix and ‘Cowardice And Greed’ stands out for having 20 seconds at the start of the song that isn’t furious blasting and riffage. Probably the most accessible song on the album as it seems positively mid paced compared to the rest of it.
‘Veil’, ‘Eyes Of The Cursed’ and ‘None Shall Sleep’ all clock in at over 5 minutes (6 in the case of EOTC) and these prolonged attacks towards the end of the album really do take any lighter, positive feelings you may be having and literally smashes them out of you. ‘None Shall Sleep’ has a slower, sludgy riff mixed in with the faster parts, different to the other songs but still with the same unpleasant message.
‘Drowning The Innocent’ is a shorter intermission in between a couple of the longer tracks and even adds a solo in there before again going back to the blastbeats and furious guitar work. The insane blast beat that rings through ‘Pharisee’ might just be the most brutal part of the album, but there are that many that many parts of the album feel like this.
Album closer ‘(Yet Gods By The Dozen)’ brings the album full circle and just like the start of the album is a swirling noise that fades out and leaves the listener feeling unnerved by the 46 minutes of crushing negativity that has just doesn’t give up.
Influences are very evident on this release of Black Metal, Crust Punk, Grindcore and the chaos that comes from mixing all of these styles is evident. Aside from the aforementioned 15-20 seconds, every single note is a brutal aural assault. The lyrics show a dark despair at humanity and the music matches the mood of the lyrics. The production adds to the feel of the album with just enough to bring all the instruments to the fore, while remaining raw and uncompromising.
The only down point I could find on “The Solitude Of Man” is that if a track or two shorter this album would have had a bit more of an impact. Not that I could really find two tracks I would leave off, but 46 minutes of music this dark is a brutal journey. Think of any word with a massively negative connotation and this has it in droves, nihilistic, misanthropic and apocalyptic. Be warned, Chronocide is uneasy listening, but in the very best way.