As I begin typing this post, I am listening to my latest acquisition from Solitude Productions, an album entitled Glad to Be Dead by the Russian melodic-death/doom group, Wine From Tears. It's the band's second CD and in my opinion, is every bit as good as their previous; which incidentally, I find quite amazing.
Solitude Productions, which heralds from Russia, came into being in July, 2005. According to the organization's website, the founding of the company was to promote Russian doom metal, in all of its various sub genres, while offering performers a label and a place at which they could professionally record their material. The people at Solitude express their original intentions this way:
"The reason for label foundation lies behind the fact
that many underground bands within doom metal frames create excellent
music, but experience problems with finding the label, because no so
many labels are interested in the style. Besides that, a significant
part of material issued under “doom metal” trade mark actually is not
(offering variations of gothic metal and melodic death metal), and the
label (together with doom-metal.ru website supported by the same team)
aims for providing correct information about the style as it is."
Once Solitude Productions rolled into gear, it started signing up Russian groups specializing in both funeral and sludge doom. Before long however, the organization began offering the same opportunities to bands from other former Soviet bloc countries as well. As a case in point, I first became aware of Solitude when I discovered a Serbian group called Tales of Dark, which has often been referred to as a Gothic/doom band. While I don't remember where I discovered them, I do recall ordering their first full-length CD, entitled Fragile Moments, as soon as I could. To this day I still enjoy listening to that album, especially the hypnotically dark song called Mephistorium.
The company also became known for releasing other classic doom albums performed by groups such as Ocean of Sorrow, Autumnia and Evoken. Of course, categorizing music can be a messy affair and often the material artists create doesn't fit nicely into any particular genre--including doom metal. To address this situation, the BadBloodMan label was created near the end of 2006. Here's what the folks at Solitude say about their creation of the new label:
" Finally the bands playing doom metal, doom-death,
funeral doom or sludge doom were associated with mother label Solitude
Productions, while the bands playing in other styles (for example,
melodic death), featuring, however, doom metal elements were associated
with BadMoodMan Music."
Over time, Solitude Productions' reputation for promoting high-quality doom metal grew and today, various bands from Western Europe, and even the United States, have traveled all the way to the city of Orel, which lies some 370 km from Moscow, to record their music. That to me, is a powerful statement indeed; and as the owner of several albums produced there, I can honestly say that I haven't heard anything it has produced that isn't top notch. If you love metal, especially doom, you owe it to yourself to give a listen to some of the music recorded there.
The following video contains Tales of Dark's studio edition of Mephistorium as found on the band's Fragile Moments album. It features Arpad Takac on growls and clean male vocals with Jovana Karajanov supplying the wonderfully contrasting female voice. Of course, I do not own the copyright to this music but provide it here in support of good metal. WARNING! TRI-TONES AHEAD!
Solitude Production's website
Encylopedia Metalum: The Metal Archives