Solstice – Death’s Crown is Victory (White Horse)

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On 1 February 2014
Last modified:1 February 2014


Heavy Metal the proper way.

Solstice hsolsticeail from the depths of Yorkshire and have been challenging and berating the mainstream since 1991. At the helm of this mighty ship is the formidable Rich Walker who has steered the band through multiple line up changes and labels but has never bowed down to ideals of the “professionals” in the music business. Due to this attitude the band have a healthy back catalogue and are well respected throughout the underground. This is the bands first full release of new material since 1998’s seminal “New Dark Age”, in the interim we have been treated with the “Only the Strong Survive” compilation and various splits with the likes of Slough Feg and Reverend Bizarre. The ethos of the band is pummelling epic doom and metal, make no mistake there is no room for casual bystanders; you are with them or against them.  Opening with “Fortress England”, an instrumental with a clean picked intro and a delicate melody until halfway through a nose breaking riff charges in which makes the same sort of impact as Maidens “Ides of March”, it’s a warcry to prepare for the rest of the record. “I Am the Hunter” contains a driving rhythm with the soaring vocals of new man Paul Kearns (ex- Arcane Sun).  The twin harmonies are executed with maximum impact that leads to a tasteful solo in the tradition of Maiden/Lizzy. The powerhouse chorus is a call to arms, Solstice are back in business. The vocals really push the point home backed up by the intertwining melodies and ferocious drumming of James Ashbey.  The title track is a slower pace with a memorable chorus and has the trademark Solstice riffing which harks back to the “New Dark Age”. The production is big and bold and everything sits perfectly in the mix, there is still a freshness about the sound after all these years. Solstice are the UK’s best kept secret and one of the most important bands that we have, if only people would take note and stop believing the mainstream media as to what is heavy metal.  Now we wait for the next installment, the four tracks showcased here is just the start.


  1. Fortress England
  2. I Am the Hunter
  3. Death’s Crown is Victory
  4. Aequinoctium II

Band Members

Paul Kearns – Vocals

Rich Walker – Guitar

Andy Whittaker – Guitar

Ian “Izak” Buxton – Bass

James Ashbey – Drums

Heavy Metal the proper way.

About Dave McCallum

Old enough to know better. I have been a metalhead for a long time, I am a lifelong collector of vinyl and cds, the more the better.