Solstice is an epic doom metal band from Dewsbury, England, founded by Rich Walker after the breaking up of his previous hardcore punk / grindcore bands Sore Throat and Warfear. Together with Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus, Solstice is responsible for expanding upon epic doom metal.
Rich Walker also used to run The Miskatonic Foundation, a record label dedicated to doom metal and traditional heavy metal. It has now since dissolved due to lack of time.
The band released their debut album Lamentations on England's Candlelight Records in 1994 and caught the attention of an underground scene that was at that point swept up with the still new second wave of black metal. Successive UK and European tours, with Count Raven and Anathema respectively, firmly cemented the band as something of a cult act across the continent.
1996 saw the release of the Halcyon EP on Black Tears, comfortably conveying the strength and progression of that line-up, while further embracing their English Heavy Metal roots but with an aesthetic that shows the band were not afraid to court a more sinister undercurrent. Shortly after, however, Solstice once again suffered line-up problems that essentially resulted in the band becoming largely dormant. In 1998, the band signed withMisanthropy Records, which helped with the release of New Dark Age', but the band was painfully laid to rest in 2002.
In 2007, Solstice was re-ignited. after a five-year hiatus, Walker commented that he was inspired to continue Solstice after enlisting the services of Andrew Whittaker from The Lamp Of Thoth. The recruitment of Paul Bwitton on vocals and Richard Horton on drums (both formerly of NWOBHM outfit Scarab) proved fruitless, but undeterred the band had Procession singer Felipe temporarily fill the vocalist position in order to honour live commitments.
Buoyed by this success, Solstice set about recruiting a full-time vocalist with whom they could move forward and so in the Summer of 2011 they welcomed Paul Thomas Kearns to the ranks. An Irishman living in Oslo, Kearns had appeared on one album with disbanded Irish Doom/Death Metal outfit Arcane Sun, however as a longtime Solstice fan he was welcomed to the fold. The new line up of Solstice made their live debut supporting Primordial in the latter's 20 years anniversary show at Dublin's Academy on September 24, 2011 to resounding success. Del Nichol replaced Richard Horton on drums later in 2011 and was also replaced nine months later by Deceptor's drummer James Ashbey. The new line-up and material gained a positive reception, vindicating Rich Walker's continued determination.
Solstice ended their 12-year absence from the recording studio in early 2013 with the release of their Mini LP "Death's crown is victory", which was their fastest selling release to date. This was issued on their own "White Horse" imprint. They also undertook many shows across Europe, successfully endeavouring to re-build their fan base. In 2015 Solstice will release the second of their three Mini LPs in the "To Sol A Thane" trilogy, shortly before embarking on a quest for world peace, and an end to all hunger and suffering.
01 Fortress England
02 I Am The Hunter
03 Death's Crown Is Victory
04 Aequinoctium II