Crown Solace – Animus

Crown Solace
Out: August 3rd, 2023
Playing time: 23:56

Crown Solace were founded in Aberdeen in 2020 by guitarist and songwriter Valentyn Tkach. They have dedicated themselves to Symphonic Metal, inspired by bands like Nightwish and Epica but also by Amaranthe and the Architects. After three singles between 2020 and 2022, the debut EP “Animus” has now been released. With five songs.

At first you can’t believe your ears. Such a high singing voice? But the singer is actually male and his name is Pete Rawcliffe. Already in “Inside My Mind” he shows what vocal abilities he has. I would classify him as a countertenor, since he actually sings in the soprano register.  So the usual interplay of “Female Beauty and the Beast” becomes “Male Beauty and the Beast” here. Bassist Callum Hutchinson contributes the growls. Now you understand why Nightwish and Epica were named as inspirations. Of course, the title song “Animus” is in the same style. Fortunately, the EP’s songs feature epic choruses and bombast as well as heavy riffs and punchy drumming. “Dangerous Eyes” is then a bit heavier. But with not quite as high a tempo. Also “The Sounds That Make Me Feel Alive” is more in the midtempo range. And epic choruses can be heard again and again. “Return To Dust” starts ballad-like with piano sounds but picks up speed later. Pete sometimes moves into the realms of coloratura or bel canto soprano.

On Crown Solace, I’m particularly thrilled by Pete Rawcliffe’s voice. He sings the very high notes much cleaner than many of his female colleagues. This gives the Scots a unique selling point. He also essentially determines the overall sound. An EP for which I would have given an even 10 a few years ago. But even in this day and age, I find “Animus” to be a tour de force of symphonic metal.

Crown Solace – Inside My Mind:


Valentyn Tkach – Songwriter, Guitar
Callum Hutchinson – Bass, Harsh Vocals
Pete Rawcliffe – Vocals
Menzies Johnson – Drums

Track list:

  • Inside My Mind
  • Animus
  • Dangerous Eyes
  • The Sounds That Make Me Feel Alive
  • Return To Dust


Overall Rating : 8/10