|Origin||Arlington, Texas, USA|
|Genres||Epic Doom Metal|
|Years active||1988 - 2011|
|Labels||Massacre, Roadracer, Roadrunner|
|Associated acts||Candlemass, Concept of God, Solitude, Ghoultown, Rotting Corpse, Liquid Sound Company, Last Chapter, Graven Image, Omega Thasis, Violent Storm|
Solitude Aeturnus were a doom metal band originated from Arlington, Texas. With their doomy rhythm and wide-ranged vocals of one Robert Lowe, they are best known as a key band in the formation of the "Epic Doom Metal" genre alongside Sweden's Candlemass (A band that could be seen as kindred spirits to them).
In their career from their formation as Solitude in 1987, Solitude Aeturnus released six studio albums and have toured around the world with a host of bands in various genres, doom or otherwise.
Formation and Signing to Roadrunner (1987 - 1992)Edit
Solitude began as John Perez quit his former seminal thrash metal band Rotting Corpse in early 87. Perez, already a veteran metal dog, had begun to tire of the limitations of thrash and soon saw the path to righteousness in all things heavy. Already a long time follower of the Sabbath heavy sounds of early 80s groups like Witchfinder General, Saint Vitus, Black Hole, Nemesis and the like, Perez knew that the time was right to make a move into this art form known then as Doom Metal. Perez assembled a group of musicians over the next year namely; Brad Kane - Drums (an early 80s Bay area thrasher metal brother!), Kris Gabehardt - vocals (previously with over the top Satanic death metal band Death Tripper), Tom Martinez - guitar and Chris Hardin - bass. After writing songs and rehearsing up until December of 1987, the band entered the studio in Jan 1988 to record their legendary 5 song demo entitled Justice For All. It should be noted that this title and demo preceded the Metallica album of the same name by some 7 months. Also of interest is that the bands name at this time was Solitude. It would not be until two years later that the band would be forced to change the name to Solitude Aeturnus.
After the release of the demo, various gigs around the local area followed. The response was lukewarm at best since no one around the area knew what to think of a band of this genre at the time. In late 88 changes started to occur within the band and without going into too many details the members of the band all changed finally settling on a line up that consisted of Perez - still on guitars of course, Edgar Rivera - guitars, Robert Lowe - vocals, Lyle Steadham - bass and John Wolf Covington on drums. This line up would last for the next 7 years taking the band all the way to 1996. Of special interest is that Lyle Steadham actually joined the band on drums while Chris Hardin was still on bass. This particular line up recorded the second official demo of the band containing Mirror of Sorrow and Opaque Divinity. Lyle would shortly move over to bass duties as Hardin left the band and Covington joined.
This two song tape caught the attention of the independent label King Klassic. The band entered the prestigious Dallas Sound Lab in January of 1990 to record their debut album entitled Into the Depths of Sorrow. After a disastrous first mix the band went back to Sound Logic Studios for a remix. It was a nightmare to try to fix but the band managed to capture a great, albeit raw sound nonetheless. The whole album was recorded for a paltry sum of $3000 and done in 7 days including the remix. Shortly after the album was delivered the album suffered an insane delay due to King Klassic not having the money to put it out. After some shopping around the album eventually caught the attention of Roadrunner Records and a licensed deal followed by Solitude Aeturnus signing directly to Roadrunner followed. After numerous other delays the album finally saw the light of day in July of 1991 a full year and half after the album was recorded. No tours followed although by this time SA had already written enough songs for a second album. In March of 1992 the band entered Sound Logic recording studios to begin the sessions for their follow-up Beyond the Crimson Horizon.
The budget for Beyond was much greater and as a result the sound was improved. The album was released in July of 1992 and eventually a US tour was set up in late Nov. with Paul Diannos Killers. The tour lasted six weeks and was a great success for the band. Shortly after in Feb. of 93 the band were dropped from Roadrunner. This came as a sigh of relief for the band as the proper support from Roadrunner never came their way. It wouldn't be until December that the band would finally sign a new recording contract with up and coming label, Pavement Records.
Through The Darkest Hour and Downfall (1993 - 1997)Edit
The band decided to get away from their familiar surroundings and took off for England to record their third album, Through the Darkest Hour. Recorded in late March of 94 at Rhythm Studios it proved to be the bands best work to date, showing a more simple and heavier direction. The production was also at its best ever and the band were moving their way up the metal ladder. Darkest Hour received critical acclaim all across the globe upon its release in August of 1994. After a few months of negotiating, the band went on the road with metal legends Mercyful Fate for an extensive US tour. The tour was six weeks of metal glory and shortly after the band embarked on their first tour of Europe with fellow doom band Revelation. After this tour the band went through a long break that would last until the April of 1996 when recording for the next album commenced. During this time Perez started his own Brainticket Records label as well as recording a solo album under the name of Liquid Sound Company. The next album Downfall was recorded in Dallas and despite receiving praise once again for their efforts, the band were extremely dissatisfied with the end product.
Adagio and Alone (1998 - 2007)Edit
In 1996 the band had a line-up change with Lyle Steadham leaving the band shortly after the recording of Downfall. Reasons being that he was sick of all the bullshit and also needed a change of scenery so to speak and did so by forming punk band the Killkreeps. The band continued on enlisting the services of Teri Pritchard (Last Chapter) in as temporary bassist. It was this line up that toured Europe in April of 96 with Swedish power metal band Morgana Lafey. Another unintentional break followed and a split from Pavement Records eventually occurred. During this time new bass player, Steve Moseley was added to the band. A long time friend and fan of the band, Steve was the perfect replacement for Lyle. The band then signed on to German label Massacre Records in December 97 and recorded what was to become their masterpiece, Adagio. This time going back to Rhythm Studios in England the album was recorded in March 98 and released in June of the same year. The band toured Europe in September of 98 with Savior Machine in support of the record. Adagio finally saw a U.S. release in January of 1999 through Olympic Records. Being distributed through Polygram, the Olympic deal gave the band even greater exposure in the native country.
The years following the release of Adagio were quiet for the band. John Perez delivered his second album of psychedelic rock with the Liquid Sound Company entitled Inside the Acid Temple and continued work with his Brainticket Records label and mail order. Steve Moseley, Robert and Covington all grouped together under the moniker of Concept of God and gigged around the local area for a few years. An album was recorded in early 2001 and was finally released in 2007. During the next few years the band both Edgar Rivera and John Covington left the group on good terms. With a few temporary line-ups the band finally settled on metal veteran Steve Nichols on drums and James Martin on bass. A short tour of Greece and Germany followed in early 2007. In the fall of 2007 the bands sixth album Alone was released on Massacre Records (With a stateside release is due in March 2007 through Locomotive Music). The band followed with a string of sporadic shows throughout the US and Europe. In February of 2007 a DVD performance was filmed for release through Metal Mind Productions in spring 2007 known as Hour of Despair. Metal Mind also remastered and reissued the bands first two albums previously on Roadrunner Records.
In 2011 the infamous And Justice For All demo was reissued as In Times of Solitude with a bonus tracks through Massacre Records. Since the release of Alone and Hour of Despair the band has been on somewhat of a hiatus, namely Perez concentrating on Liquid Sound Company and his duties as a tour manager. Robert Lowe had also taken over as the lead singer of Candlemass from 2006 - 2012. With regards to the long periods between albums in the band's later career, John Perez said in a 2011 interview: "We’ve just slowed down a bit as we’ve gotten older. Everyone lives far apart, we all work full-time jobs, kids, houses etc... Plus, it gets more difficult each time to make a great album. I’d rather do less records and make sure they are all 100% killers rather than put out more records that are just re-hash of our previous work.".
Solitude Aeturnus would perform for the last time on 15 June 2011 at The Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
- John Perez - Guitar (1988 - 2011)
- Robert Lowe - Vocals (1988 - 2011)
- Steve Mosley - Bass (1988 - 2004), Guitar (2004 - 2011)
- James Martin - Bass (2005 - 2011)
- Steve Nichols - Drums (2005 - 2011)
- Chris Hardin - Bass (1988 - 1989)
- Lyle Steadham - Drums (1988 - 1989), Bass (1990 - 1996)
- Edgar Rivera - Guitar (1988 - 1998)
- John Covington - Drums (1990 - 2005)
- Terri Pritchard - Bass (1997)
- Kurt Joye - Bass (2004 - 2005)
- David Header - Live Drums (2005)
Solitude (1987 - 1988)Edit
- Chris Hardin - Bass (1987 - 1988)
- John Perez - Guitar (1987 - 1988)
- Lyle Steadham - Drums (1988)
- Edgar Rivera - Guitar (1988)
- Robert Lowe - Vocals (1988)
- Brad Kane - Drums (1987 - 1988)
- Tom Martinez - Guitar (1987 - 1988)
- Kris Gabehart - Vocals (1987 - 1988)
Studio Albums Edit
- Into The Depths of Sorrow (1991, Roadracer)
- Beyond the Crimson Horizon (1992, Roadrunner Records)
- Through The Darkest Hour (1994, Pavement Music)
- Downfall (1996, Pavement Music)
- Adagio (1998, Massacre Records)
- Alone (2006, Massacre Records)
Misc. Releases Edit
- Demo 1989 (1989, Self-Released)
- Days of Doom (1994, Self-Released)
- The New Wave of American True Metal (Split With Iron Rainbow) (1996, BPR)
- Justice For All (2000, Doomed Planet)
- Hour of Despair (2007, Metal Mind Productions)
- In Times of Solitude (2011, Massacre Records)