"Solstice of Oppression" is the debut full-length studio album by US death metal act Oppressor. The album was released through Red Light Records in April 1994. "Solstice of Oppression" has subsequently seen a couple of reissues through different labels. Oppressor was formed in 1990 and released three full-length studio albums in the years between 1994 and 1998. Several of the members are now active in the alternative metal act Soil.
The music on "Solstice of Oppression" is technical death metal. The vocals are deep and unintelligible growls which provide the music with a brutal edge. The riffing is fast and technical, the drumming varied and adventurous, and the songwriting relatively interesting. The monotone and somewhat passionless growls are a minor issue to my ears, but other than that the music on the album is pretty powerful and effective. There are semi-progressive leanings in the music in addition to the technical playing, which especially manifest in the occasional clean guitar parts.
While the music is both well played, decently composed, and relatively well produced, I still feel there´s a lack of memorable moments and few tracks stand out. I suspect it´s primarily because of the monotone growling vocals, but my attention also starts to wander a couple of times during the 9 tracks, 41:42 minutes long album, which is probably due to the general quality of the songwriting. Repeated listens help though and overall "Solstice of Oppression" is still a quality death metal release deserving a 3.5 star (70%) rating.