Finnish melodic metal quartet Scars of Solitude has been around since 2015, releasing one album prior to this EP. They describe themselves as “The finest blend of Finnish melancholy and melodic metal” and as bizarre as that may sound, it’s actually pretty accurate. They have a unique sound that can only be described as a mix of Modern English meets Bullet For My Valentine, with a little Jimmy Eat World thrown in. In most of the songs on the EP, all three influences are felt, which can make their sound a little disjointed.
This crazy combination works on certain songs. First track ‘Dark Matter’ instantly reminded me of Jimmy Eat World. The vocals from lead singer/guitarist Tuomo Laulainen are where things get interesting. His vocals are similar to the stylings of 80s British alternative bands. This mix creates a unique sound that I really dug. There is certainly nothing else out there like this. This song also has one of the catchiest choruses on the EP.
Then there is the fast-paced banger ‘No Riddance’. Hearing the vocal stylings of Tuomo utilized in a gang vocal approach for the chorus creates a sound all their own. For added surprise, he throws in a metal core scream towards the end of the track and pulls it off surprisingly well. At 2:50, it’s the shortest track on the EP but the best track amongst the collection of songs.
Unfortunately, the band takes other songs and tries to cram in too many time changes and stylings to create their own uniqueness, but the end result is a sacrifice in quality. Sometimes less is more and restraint is needed. The title track is the biggest offender of this. It starts out quiet and atmospheric before erupting into a thrash melody for its intro, then goes into a quiet slow burn groove for verse 1. It transitions into a bridge that is a louder version of that same groove, with double bass drums added, then slows down for the chorus. Towards the end of the song, it revisits the beginning thrash elements, all in the span of 3 minutes and 54 seconds. If it sounds like I am jumping around all over the place, that’s because it’s exactly what the song does, which makes it difficult for the listener to settle on a rhythm.
There’s a lot more metal core screaming for ‘Lullaby of the Ill-Fated’, which features borderline thrash drumming but is let down by a monotonous guitar rhythm so generic the drums overpower it. Orchestral instruments (or programmed ones) make for an interesting ending to the song but by that point it’s too late.
The remaining two tracks, ‘Left On Read’ and ‘Burden’ are both atmospheric slow burners that have great parts in each song but ultimately falter from the weaknesses in each. In the case of ‘Left On Read’, the song builds to a lame, almost nonexistent, chorus that lets down the entire structure before it. ‘Burden’ takes too long to build up and does not settle into a good rhythm until 3:37 into the song. By that point, the song has about a minute and a half more to go.
This is a band that has traits that will make it stand out from other bands. Their bio states, “The EP has elements of melodic rock, doom, death metal, and pop punk”. That can certainly make for an interesting sound, but when they try to utilize all of those different stylings in one song, they run the risk of making a frenetic mess. They need to rein in their influences a bit to create songs that will make people take notice of their uniqueness through unforgettable songs. Seek out the two recommended songs above to see what this band is capable of creating.