Solemn They Await – Sanctuary in the Depths

Solemn They Await is the solo project of Rhys King, who has been employing the clean vocals of Tom Waterhouse since the release of the demo Sanctuary in the Depths. The work in question, dating back to 2009, showcases a solemn and dramatic funeral, albeit still sketchy in terms of production, and it takes about three years for the same tracks contained therein to be revised, corrected and re-presented in the full length, also titled Sanctuary in the Depths, also including two new tracks. The result is a remarkable achievement, for what was contained in the demo is exhibited in a more satisfying manner without losing the intensity and form expressed in its original guise: Lovecraftian themes are perfectly matched with sounds that draw sap from the genre’s guiding bands, with a mention for Tyranny, which King himself points to as a primary influence. The solemn orchestrations prove as enveloping and deceptive as ever, eventually fatally drawing the listener captivated by the tentacles of the sea monster depicted on the cover. The deep and unapologetic growl finds a perfect counterbalance in Waterhouse’s clean vocals, decidedly tuneful and appropriate, and the sense of impending catastrophe hovering over the work does not fade, leaving a legacy of nearly forty minutes of absolute quality funeral. This will not be followed up again, as the Perth musician will opt for a safer and more fruitful path in black metal with Advent Sorrow, as well as with another solo project called Posphorus Throne.

2012 – Independent 2015 – Aurora Australis Records