DSBM I never really know how to feel about it, even now as a pretty long term fan of the genre I don’t quite know what to make of it all. It comes in so many forms, the extremity of Silencer or the melancholic tones of the wondrous Thy Light, DSBM is a journey that takes many paths all towards certain self-loathing darkness. Essentially DSBM is like Emo for grown ups, that might sound a touch brutal but it’s true and I’m not knocking DSBM or Emo (perhaps shamefully I enjoy both) but is it a genre to accept with open arms or one to reject as nothing but whiny sadness.

Totalselfhatred are, if the names doesn’t give it away a DSBM band from Finland who formed in 2005 however due to troubles the band didn’t go ahead with a full length until 2008. Since then they have come to the point of a third album entitled Solitude. Can it become a DSBM classic though or will it see the band cascade into eternal misery and sadness forevermore, or will it see them garner long awaited success, no matter the outcome I’m sure the misery will still course through them.

So I know this is a DSBM release but I’m going to try not to get too negative, however there is one word for Solitude, cliché this album has it all like a Dummies book. DSBM for Dummies a blueprint of weeping, mopey songwriting that is stale and boring. I can see everything this band is trying to do but I cannot help but think I’ve heard it all before, from the basic classical piano tones of Solitude MMXIII to the drawn out repetitive pseudo emotion of Hallow. Even things that could be more cliché aren’t, the production being a prime example, having heard underground Black Metallers like Exequial, Starved and Flešš my attention to gritty Raw production has spiked, leaving even the more unique elements of Solitude in the mud.

Focusing in on the positives we have Black Infinity a more Folk inspired song which whilst still painstakingly atypical is still a little bit of fresh air in an otherwise dragging release. Solitude isn’t even a long album but it feels like it goes on forever, turning your mind to utter mush by its final climax in Nyktophilia which I believe means a preference to darkness over light, whilst the song is listenable it merely aids in the never ending cliché of this DSBM copycat.

To conclude, stick to what you know if you want some DSBM seek out Lifelover, Shining, Vanhelga anything but this. Solitude is neither a good place to start nor a good addition to an already flooded genre. I doth my cap to Totalselfhared for exploiting the framework of DSBM to a point but equally it makes for an uninteresting release.

(3/10 George Caley)