Sole Remedy – ‘Apoptosis’, Aftermath Music; 2010

Three years down the line since their debut full-length ‘The Wounded Ones‘; Finnish progressive metal band Sole Remedy return with a small line-up change and the follow-up effort ‘Apoptosis‘. Tagged as a concept album, one immediately gets the presumption that what is to follow will be an interesting record with moments of fear and saddened acceptance of fate. In turn, it does look to be that these expectations are ultimately delivered; albeit with moments of decent filler.

In the supposedly experimental vein of progressive metal, ‘Apoptosis‘ starts off with an ambient, tranquil track before the relative harshness of melodic death metal kicks in by the third song. As a result, this sets the par for an evenly paced sound throughout the entire record; which demonstrates not only the thoughtfulness behind it, but achieves a rather lovely effect where songs flow seamlessly from one to another. On one hand, this could be described as a musical metaphor for the album title itself (apoptosis being the process of programmed cell death for biological changes); more directly, it shows that although they’re still in the beginning of their career, the band is consistently aware of what they’re doing and seek to amaze with what they can do.

However, at the same time there seem to be certain issues which could use some ironing out – namely the continuous use of breakdowns amidst chugging, groove riffs on the earlier half of the record, and the apparent choice of saving its figurative meat towards the end; beneath all the filler which includes said breakdowns. Fortunately, the aforementioned technique doesn’t completely distract from gems such as ‘Wolf in Me‘ and ‘Past Decay‘, where Sole Remedy‘s experimentation with lyrical themes brings out a more philosophical aspect to the music. When it seems as if the former will predictably bat between calm, acoustic strumming and clean vocals to ferocious riffs and roars, frontman Jukka surprises the audience by continuing on from mid-way with both sounds before they’re accompanied by a heavy solo.

Nonetheless, it feels neccesary to that that even though this is a good, second effort from a group which has had to reform itself under a short period of time; it looks to be that ‘Apoptosis‘ would be best experienced if one just focuses on the last three, worthier tracks out of the ten songs that are present.

6/10

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