Epic doom metal from USA, latest compilation released in 2011.
Solitude Aeturnus to this day remain a band virtually unheard of outside doom metal circles yet a legend within their own clan, a sign of both doom's reluctance to ever grace the metal spotlight and the Texan's own lack of recorded and touring output since a 1987 formation. "In Times of Solitude" is not the follow-up I had been hoping for to 2006's excellent "Alone", but instead is a compilation of the band's first demo and some random other assortments designed to please presumably only the most earnest SA fans.
The five opening tracks taken from 1988's "And Justice For All" demo (released seven months before a certain Metallica album) showcase a surprisingly coherent sound and performance for a band so young and inexperienced. Tracks like "It Came Upon One Night", "Transcending Sentinels" and "Where Angels Dare To Tread" are very similar to those I've become used to hearing in their 1991 and 1992 full lengths, the demo sound doing little to hide the band's unusual songwriting style and sense of classic metal songwriting.
"Rememberance Of A Life" is a true rough-and-ready rehearsal track from the days of Kris Gabehart on vocals, from before when Robert Lowe arrived and whose vocal style has since defined the band. "And Justice For All" is an energetic live club track while two Rob Lowe-era demo/rehearsal tracks close the piece, where even by 1988 the band's sorrowful tone that has prevailed to this day had taken a unique shape. All in all an interesting look at the early days of this cult doom legend but for new-comers I would recommend classic second album "Beyond The Crimson Horizon" as a starting point as this really is a completist's work only.