Canto: the division of long poetry, principally used to divide epics. Canto III (Kaotoxin Records) by London based death-doom band Eye of Solitude is the third chapter for the band. Once again returning to open the gates of hell this is not a fun album to listen to, but a serious tome to torment and tragedy. Breaking up the songs by Acts, everything about the surrounding of this album is prelude to a tragedy in sonic form.
Eye of Solitude is not a band that can be hurried, like their previous album Sui Caedere this unfolds slowly, revealing itself over sixty-six agonizing minutes.
Being based on Dante’s Inferno, although not specifically the third canto, it bases its story on Dante’s decent through the circles of hell. There is a real honesty behind the performance though that can be lost in so many concept albums. There is no doubting the artists really identified with this story, the music bleeds pain; every note drips in agony, every scream is audible torment.
The music switches between long slow atmospheric chords with spoken word and aggressive blast beats and tremolo picking. This is an album all about contrast, emptiness punctuated with violent attacks. The biggest change in this record from previous releases is the extended spoken sections. Sections of the album contain readings from Inferno set over drawn out chords from keyboardist Pedro. While vocalist Dan Neagoe is more subdued during spoken sections, guest vocalists Anton Rosa’s monologues are more theatrical and dramatic, and while both are moving performances, Rosa’s screams of agony over the solo in Act VI: The pathway has been lost are particularly breathtaking.
Canto III was made to be listened to as a whole. Like starting a story in the middle it doesn’t make that much sense broken into pieces and consumed separately, every song builds and crafts the continuation of the journey through the album. The path through Canto III can best be described by Dante himself, ‘Abandon hope, all you who enter here.’