Album Review – Solitary / The Diseased Heart of Society (2017)

When four veteran thrash metallers canalize all the hatred, degradation and perversions of our modern-day society into their music, the final result couldn’t have been more exhilarating than their brand new first-class, unrelenting album.

Rating3

coverThe brand new album by British thrash metallers Solitary, the enraged opus The Diseased Heart Of Society, is so much more than “just another album”. It represents the complete rebirth of one of the most enduring Thrash Metal outfits from the UK, a roar of defiance from a band that are sick of the state of the world around them and tired of the weak imitations that have been masquerading as their beloved Thrash Metal. In other words, if you’re a fan of traditional and aggressive Thrash Metal the likes of Slayer, Testament and Forbidden, bands that stay true to their roots no matter what happens in their lives,  I’m sure Solitary will quickly become one of your new favorite bands right after your first listen at The Diseased Heart of Society.

Founded in 1994 in Preston, a city located in Lancashire, England, Solitary have rediscovered with The Diseased Heart of Society the passion and anger that first inspired them to take up arms and rage at the world around them. Their allegiance to the Thrash Metal cause has always been unflinching and from the heart, with their live album I Promise to Thrash Forever, released back in 2014, summarizing in its title everything Solitary stand for, and in their new album, featuring an austere artwork by Andy Pilkington (Very Metal Art) and some furious guitar solos by guest musician Stan Havard (Xentrix), they reinforce their love for heavy music in a professional, potent and crisp manner that will inspire you to slam into the pit and bang your head nonstop to their electrified thrashing tunes.

An ominous and serene intro named Blackened Skies permeates the air before all hell breaks loose in Wait, where drummer Roy Miller doesn’t waste a single second and begins crushing his drums mercilessly. Furthermore, the song’s belligerent melody and pace, together with the raspy vocals by Richard Sherrington delivering an aggressive message through the lyrics, remind me of the more contemporary albums by Exodus such as Shovel Headed Kill Machine, which of course translates into sheer awesomeness. And at the blink of an eye, Solitary fire more or their high-speed Thrash Metal, an insane, metallic chant entitled Trigger Point Atrocity, where the bass guitar by Pete Hewitt will keep rumbling inside your head while Richard and Andy Mellor deliver modern and piercing riffs that would make Testament’s own Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick really happy. And their feast of modern Thrash Metal goes on with another solid composition named Anthem of Regret, sounding slightly darker and more melancholic than the previous tunes. In addition, Andy is not only an excellent riffer, but his solos also bring a lot of adrenaline to the music by Solitary.

solitaryIn the superb Architects of Shame, a melodic intro keeps rising and accelerating until it reaches the boiling point of old school Bay Area Thrash, with its kick-ass pace and the perfect sync between guitars and drums turning it into one of the most electrifying of all songs, not to mention Richard’s amazingly acid performance on vocals. After that lesson in violence, the title-track The Diseased Heart of Society brings forward a Slayer-inspired start, with Richard and Andy suddenly slashing our ears with their riffs while Roy delivers very rhythmic and fierce beats. Put differently, this is a song tailored for triturating our necks by banging our heads as hard as possible. Then it’s time to speed up the music and slam into the pit with Solitary in the first single of the album, titled Unidentified, showcasing obscure lyrics about human trafficking violently declaimed by Richard (“Righteous another victim they’re dying everyday / I am the fallen saviour for the one who’s lost their way / Faceless all I have chosen salvation’s in my eyes / Corruption and exploitation their dependency is mine”). Every single time I face a modern thrashing tune like this I realize Thrash Metal has been the genre that evolved the best in the past few decades, offering the listener brutal riffs, sharp solos, metallic bass lines and furious drumming without sounding outdated or obsolete, all we need in this form of music.

The Words Define sounds like a “sequel” to the previous song, keeping the speed above the recommended limit while Richard is as visceral as usual with his harsh vocals, a combination that should sound incredible during their live performances. And if violence is what you want, that’s what Solitary offer you in the ruthless The Edge of Violence, where you’ll be treated to nonstop thrashing action, with Richard leading his bandmates with his rabid growls. Furthermore, the cutting guitar solos throughout the song end up bringing even more potency to the overall result, making it a must-listen for admirers of true Thrash Metal. And closing the album we have one more fast and furious chant by Solitary, the spiteful Humanity’s Decline, offering straightforward, brutal Thrash Metal to put anyone who’s still alive to an end, yet again displaying another bestial performance by Roy on drums.

You can grab your copy of such flammable, rip-roaring Thrash Metal opus at the UKEM Records’ webstore or at Solitary’s webstore, where you can also find available a sensational bundle  including a signed digipak, a media card with the digital version of the album, pre-production demo’s and documentary, the “I Promise to Thrash Forever – The Solitary Story” book, a Solitary key ring, a “The Diseased Heart of Society” patch, a Solitary sticker, a limited edition of the Solitary T-shirt (with breast, sleeve and back print) and a limited edition of the artwork in a 15×15 digital print on a metal plaque (please note that both the T-shirt and the artwork have only ten copies produced). The unstoppable Solitary, whose kick-ass music and all other details can be found at their official Facebook page, managed to transform in The Diseased Heart of Society all the degradation and downfall of our world into first-class, unrelenting Thrash Metal, which means at least musically speaking there’s something really good coming out of all tragedies we’ve been experiencing in the past few years, and we need to thank those British metallers for that.

Best moments of the album: Trigger Point Atrocity, Architects of Shame, Unidentified and The Edge of Violence.

Worst moments of the album: Anthem of Regret.

Released in 2017 UKEM Records

Track listing
1. Blackened Skies | Wait 4:30
2. Trigger Point Atrocity 3:26
3. Anthem of Regret 4:27
4. Architects of Shame 3:42
5. The Diseased Heart of Society 4:33
6. Unidentified 2:50
7. The Words Define 3:40
8. The Edge of Violence 2:54
9. Humanity’s Decline 2:56

Band members
Richard Sherrington – vocals, guitar
Andy Mellor – lead guitar
Pete Hewitt – bass
Roy Miller – drums

Guest musician
Stan Havard – lead guitar

Album Review – Burial / Unholy Sedition (2016)

Profane, rebellious and vicious music for all diehard lovers of Black Metal, piercing your ravenous ears directly from the UK.

Rating5

CD DigiPak 4 Panel 1 TrayThe good old city of Manchester, England might be known worldwide by the everlasting rivalry between Manchester City and Manchester United, two of the biggest soccer teams in the world, but since 2005 the city has also become a synonym to extreme music due to the scalding Blackened Death Metal forged by an up-and-coming power trio that goes by the name of Burial. After releasing a demo in 2008 named Shadowed by Satan, the EP Dissidence in 2010 and more recently their debut full-length album Beneath the Light in 2013, those black metallers are back with their second opus, entitled Unholy Sedition, a must for lovers of Black Metal, nuns, beer and Satan.

Fans of the music played by bands like Satyricon in their early days will have a great time listening to what this underground British act is capable of offering, being visceral but extremely technical at the same time. In addition, if you already know Burial you’ll notice a slight change in their musicality from their previous album, dropping part of the Death Metal sound and delivering an all-out Black Metal assault. In case this is your first contact with the band, get ready for 30 minutes of brutality in the form of the short, fast and devastating tunes found in Unholy Sedition. You won’t regret being blasted by the band’s ferocious music, I should say.

After a quick distorted intro, the opening track Infernal Spirit brings forward brutal Black Metal led by the bestial beats by drummer David Buchan, while lead singer and bassist Derek Carley varies his vocals from devilish screams to cavernous growls; and without a break they start firing the following tune, entitled Malevolent Possession, displaying some pulverizing riffs by guitarist Richard Barraclough. Not only that, even when they slow down a bit during this enraged song their heaviness remains at an outstanding level. Their malignancy keeps flowing in Satanic Immolation, a sick Black Metal song with hints of Death Metal where it’s amusing how violent the band can get in less than three minutes, with Derek’s vocals sounding exactly as many old school Black Metal vocalists.

Burial Band photoIn the high-speed havoc Coven of Death, David is unstoppable behind his drums, providing Richard the support he needs to craft his blazing riffs before we’re treated to Nothing Awaits, where a Blackened Doom-inspired intro powered by the gruesome vociferations by Derek suddenly explodes into vile Black Metal, with highlights to the metallic guitar lines by Richard. This is perhaps their best song to date, an excellent composition sounding as three distinct songs in one, and therefore showcasing the band’s highly developed abilities with their instruments. And in the rhythmic and dense Defile The Sacrament, right after a somber intro that goes on for almost two minutes, we have a furious fusion of Black and Death Metal with Derek barking like a rabid beast.

Cast To The Flames can be considered the most old school Black Metal of all tracks with the blast beats by David being its guiding “star”, never letting the level of dark energy go down; whereas Beyond Redemption seems to be the most Death Metal of all mainly due to the deep guttural growls by Derek, with its beats at the speed of light demolishing everything and everyone that stands in their way. Before Uholy Sedition comes to its end, Burial offer us all more of their putrid growls and a heavy atmosphere in the Black Metal hymn Devoured By The Earth, displaying sheer violence and gore in the form of music with highlights to the groovy and boisterous drumming by David. And lastly, we have the remarkably short but sensational Extreme Metal anthem Nun Fucking Black Metal, which not only has a beautiful name but also pays homage all things Black Metal, concluding the album on a high note with amazing performances by all band members.

In case you want to know more about the music by Burial, go visit their Facebook or ReverbNation pages, and if you’re interesting in putting your hands on a copy of Unholy Sedition, you can find the album for sale at the UKEM Records’ BandCamp page or webstore (it’s out of stock according to the website, though), or at the band’s official Big Cartel page, where you can also find a nice exclusive bundle including a physical copy of the album and a T-shirt for a very decent price. It’s profane and rebellious Black Metal for diehard lovers of the genre, and also a great option for newcomers to get introduced to the world of extreme music.

Best moments of the album: Satanic Immolation, Nothing Awaits and Nun Fucking Black Metal.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 UKEM Records

Track listing
1. Infernal Spirit 3:03
2. Malevolent Possession 4:00
3. Satanic Immolation 2:22
4. Coven Of Death 2:07
5. Nothing Awaits 3:35
6. Defile The Sacrament 4:14
7. Cast To The Flames 2:55
8. Beyond Redemption 3:57
9. Devoured By The Earth 3:47
10. Nun Fucking Black Metal 1:12

Band members
Derek Carley – vocals, bass
Richard Barraclough – guitar
David Buchan – drums