Country: Finland
Title: Solstice Cycle
Label: The Sinister Flame
Year: 2019
Style: Black Metal

Right in between Praxis (2018) and Gnosis (2020), Finnish duo Aethyrick and The Sinister Flame decided to re-release the band's two demos from 2017, The Trident​-​Bearer and Athanor of Sorcery, on a single material, out on both CD and vinyl, so it seems their collaboration is excellent also having in mind that both band's albums were produced by the same label. It's always cool to see such a bond, or at least I'm always impressed to see this kind of continuous mutual (I'm sure) support between a band and a label. I doubt the band, despite the success with Praxis (Gnosis is quite new for such a result I think), is selling as much as Polish super-stars Mgla, Batushka or Behemoth do, so re-releasing the two demos can only be atributed to the need for them, and to their quality as well, quality I can too certify after listening to this compilation. The music on both these demos, and their high production quality (think of an organic sounding release but not as rough as demos were back in the '90's, this could easily work for an album, too) and why not, the limited format they were out initially, under 100 copies each, are perfect reasons for a re-release. Melodic, sometimes melancholic, sometimes epic, sometimes atmospheric Black Metal with rhythms ranging from slow, repetitive, mesmerizing, to intense gallops of tremolo Black Metal riffs and blastbeats, with an upfront, organic again, bass line that really stands out, and a tormented raspy vocalist whose performance could have been a bit more versatile I believe. Bottom line a well-deserved reissue of the two demos, 6 tracks totaling 38 minutes of playing time, if you're into the more melodic / epic side of Black Metal you should definitely check this out.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: -/10