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Solace of Requiem is a technical blackened death metal band from the United States. The band plays music that is not only instrumentally technical but is also technical in composition. Blending death metal, black metal, doom, thrash, jazz, rock and many other forms of music to create the extremely diverse sound that makes SOR unique. The band's lyrics are based on philosophy and mysticism but are very dark in nature. Expressing hatred, hopelessness and brutality that is presented with alternating perspectives through poetry.
The original members of Solace of Requiem (Jeff Sumrell, Chris Young and Luke Downing) actually began playing together as teenagers in 1990 under the name Sarcophagus. After slowly drifting apart in 1993, the members were reunited in 2001 and began playing again under the name Solace of Requiem. SOR decided to record their first self-titled album in 2004 (featuring the cover song "I Need You" by Grave, courtesy of Century Media Records) at Master Sound Studio in Virginia Beach, VA. Shortly after, the CD was released on the internet and had gained international distribution after receiving some very encouraging responses. A video was eventually made for the song "Beyond Grace" and the band began to play shows and festivals more frequently, expanding their tour route to include other states on the U.S. east coast besides their home state of Virginia.
In 2005 SOR had new material they wanted to record, but had a very limited budget, so the band decided to send their first album to various record labels in the hopes of getting a contract offer. The band negotiated a contract to record their new material and eventually signed with Ruptured Silence Records in late 2005. However, the drummer (Luke, who had just finished college and started his own business) didnít feel he could put his own lifeís dreams on hold, so the band was forced to pursue a new drummer (Joe Walmer, PA) from the progressive death metal band Aletheian. Joe agreed to play with SOR as a session drummer during his bandís downtime, so Jeff, Chris and Joe began recording SOR's second album "Utopia Reborn" (featuring guest vocalist Bret Hoffmann of Malevolent Creation) at Worlds End Studio in Kall, Germany in January of 2006.
Promptly after recording Utopia Reborn, SOR embarked on several tours in the United States and in Europe. Upon the album's release under Ruptured Silence Records, the touring continued and the CD reviews began to pour in. The album was very well received by the public and was nominated as album of the year by 7 different magazines across the globe. As well as being featured in prominent U.S. magazines such as Metal Maniacs and Decibel.
While appreciative of the opportunity given to them in Europe by Ruptured Silence, SOR felt it was necessary to sever ties with the label in late 2006. After the band parted ways with Ruptured Silence, guitarist Chris Young had to make the difficult decision to leave Solace of Requiem due to personal turmoil in his life. Chris had lost both his parents (his mother passing while he was recording Utopia Reborn) and one of his sisters in the recent years SOR had been playing together. Not to mention the financial difficulties associated with three deaths in the family. Joe could also no longer play in SOR because Aletheian had recently signed with Iron Clad Recordings and he then had to put all of his efforts into his own band. So in late 2006, Jeff set out alone to make a video for the song "Red Sea", acquire members to play a U.S. and European tour, as well as write the music for a new album.
A session drummer (Dave Tedesco, NJ) and session guitarist (Aaron Lott, MN) were selected for touring the United States and Europe at the end of 2006. Aaron only stayed in the band for the U.S. portion of the tour and could not come with the band to Europe, so a new guitarist (Jesse Bartlett, NY) joined SOR for the EU portion of the tour, as well as the filming of the Red Sea video. However, after making the video and touring Europe, Jesse left the band for personal reasons. So in the winter of 2007, original guitarist Chris Young returned so that the band would not have to cancel some of the festivals they had agreed to play inside the United States. Chris only returned to play the few venues SOR had remaining on their schedule, so in late 2007 all other band functions were ceased and Jeff immediately focused on writing new material and searching for a new guitarist.
SOR's next guitarist (Chris Armijo, CA) joined the band in late 2007 to record the new material Jeff had written and tour Europe in support of the album, so in 2008 Solace of Requiem recorded their new material with German producer Andy Classen (Krisiun, Belphegor, Rotting Christ, and many more..) and toured EU for three weeks after their studio time was complete. After touring Europe, SOR decided to shop the new album that Andy Classen had produced to various record labels. Unfortunately, after nearly two years of trying to find a label (2008 - 2010) the album remained unsigned and unreleased. The band did acquire a second guitarist (George Arguello, CA) in 2009 to accompany Chris at their live shows, and SOR played a few small U.S. and European tours with their newly acquired second guitarist that same year, but since no label was willing to release the material, the band had remained fairly stagnant until 2010.
In 2010 Solace of Requiem decided to self-release the 2008 album they made with Andy Classen under the name "The Great Awakening". The album received great reviews and was featured in prominent compilation CDs and magazines in the United States and Europe. SOR also toured for the album in 2010 with the great old-school death metal band Resurrection. However, even after the release of TGA, great reviews and a successful European tour with Resurrection. The band's main goal of landing a legitimate record deal had still eluded them in 2010.
In October and November of 2011 the band embarked on their biggest tour to date as support for Vomitory and Prostitute Disfigurement during the No End To Suffering Tour 2011 and Disbelief during the Believe In Nothing Tour 2011. The two tours were combined together to create a single tour that lasted thirty one straight days and spanned ten different countries in Europe. The band also spent the later part of that year writing new material in hopes of having a new album written sometime in 2012.
While writing their fourth album in 2012, the band realized that they had finally discovered the perfect musical direction they wanted to follow. The new album will be the first album that the band feels is the proper evolution of SOR's brand of blackened death metal. So because of this reason, Solace of Requiem has decided to treat the first three releases as if they were only practice for the band's fourth album. SOR will therefor release their fourth and most brutal album with a new band logo. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Mana Recording Studio in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is currently unreleased.
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Jeff Sumrell (Composer, Bass & Vocals) Virginia Beach, VA.
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Dave Tedesco (Drums) Paramus, NJ.
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Richard Gulczynski (Guitars) Oxford, PA.
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Kevin Heiderich (Tour Guitars) Mengelrode, Germany
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Former Members and Session Musicians
Luke Downing (Drums '04 - '05) Norfolk, VA.
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Chris Young (Guitars '04 - '06) Chesapeake, VA.
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Joe Walmer (Session & Tour Drums '06) Lebanon, PA.
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Jesse Bartlett (Tour Guitar '06) La Fargeville, NY.
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Aaron Lott (Tour Guitar '06) Saint Cloud, MN.
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Chris Armijo (Session & Tour Guitars '07 - '11) San Diego, CA.
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George Arguello (Tour Guitars '09 - '11) Orange, CA.
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