It’s been FIVE years since Solution .45 released their amazing debut “For Aeons Past,” which definitely sounded similar to Scar Symmetry at the time. With ex-Scar Symmetry vocalist Christian Älvestam fronting them, it’s hard to escape that comparison. Älvestam has both a unique clean vocal and a VERY distinct harsh vocal. Still, the album was a collection of great songs with a very epic vibe.
Finally, we get to hear the next step in the evolution of Solution .45 with “Nightmares In The Waking State – Part 1.” Now, since Scar Symmetry just released part one of a trilogy last year, the comparisons are going to remain. Älvestam still has an amazing voice so yes Solution .45 still sounds a bit like Scar Symmetry. However, this album is sounds much darker than “For Aeons Past” and anything Scar Symmetry has done.
The opening track “Wanderer from the Fold” is quite evil sounding with an ending section that has a Gothic feel. “Perfecting the Void” is relentless and quite heavy but also has an excellent catchy chorus. This balance is very much the key to the overall success of “Nightmares In The Waking State – Part 1.” Things slow down a bit with “Bleed Heavens Dry” but this is not a ballad. It makes for a nice chance of pace though. “In Moments of Despair” is the “Lethean Tears” ballad of this album. Älvestam has proven he can write an awesome, power ballad.
“Alter (The Unbearable Weight of Nothing)” is another favorite of mine. Solution .45 prove with songs like this that they can really fill out a song and make it sound massive. I also love the keyboards on this track. “I, Nemesis” is another epic in the mold of “Clandestinity Now” from “For Aeons Past.” I think it’s actually the better song of the two. Big, bad and evil sounding which is a perfect way to end this first part of this concept.
“Nightmares In The Waking State – Part 1” is not a big change from “For Aeons Past” but it really shouldn’t be. I do think that they sound less like current Scar Symmetry but that’s more because Scar Symmetry has evolved into a prog metal band and are less melodic death metal than they were early on. There will be an overlap between these 2 great bands. I am not complaining either! “Nightmares In The Waking State – Part 1” is the long overdue first movement of an epic concept by Solution .45 that proves that they are capable of great things. This album just makes me crave Part 2 and isn’t that what it should do?
1. Wanderer From The Fold
2. Perfecting The Void
3. Bleed Heavens Dry
4. Winning Where Losing Is All
5. In Moments Of Despair
6. Second To None
7. Targeting Blaze
8. Alter (The Unbearable Weight Of Nothing)
9. Wield The Scepter
10. I, Nemesis