Purest of Pain – Solipsis

Distributor/label [URL]: Unsigned
Released: March 2018
Buy Album [URL]: https://purestofpain.bandcamp.com/album/solipsis
Band Website: http://www.purestofpain.com/
Rating: 3/5

cover_Purest of Pain_solipsis

Band line-up:

Frank van Leeuwen – Bass
J.D. Kaye — Vocals
Merel Bechtold – Guitars
Michael van Eck – Guitars
Joey de Boer – Drums

Track listings:

1. The Pragmatic
2. Truth-seeker
3. Vessels
4. Crown of Worms
5. Momentum
6. The Sleep of Reason
7. Tidebreaker
8. Trial & Error
9. Terra Nil
10. Noctambulist
11. E.M.D.R.
12. Phantom Limb
13. The Solipsist
14. The End

It has been a long time coming, but Purest of Pain have finally launched their debut album, around seven years after the release of their debut EP. Lead by guitarist and main songwriter Merel Bechtold of DELAIN, Purest of Pain’s album maintains the melodic death metal vibe that Delain fans should be pleased to hear. But is it any good? Well, yes and no. The 14 track album features quite a few very short numbers under 3 minutes long that seem to make little impact on the listener and at times sound a bit too ‘samey’, with a feeling that the band agreed “that’ll do” rather than “how can we build on this”. But when it shines, it’s brilliant. Tracks like Terra Nil take the listener on a journey with shifting rhythms and tempos.

This feeling of the album being rushed doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when considering the time taken to record and produce this album, but it may be due to the various members being parts of other projects. Merel himself being part of bands MaYaN and The Gentle Storm, drummer Joey de Boer is also in Delain, who are releasing an album in 2019 which makes me wonder if Purest of Pain was a priority or treated like a side project.

But that’s all speculation on my part. The music itself is solid, and there are some very good harmonies from the two guitars in songs like the title track, with a focus leaning towards the melodic more than death metal at times. The vocals of J.D Kaye are what you’d expect from the genre, and are great. The best song for me being Momentum, which was first released as a single in 2013, again, suggesting that was made at a point where the band had more time to focus on Purest of Pain before attention was diverted to other projects.