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

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One thought on “Album Review – Solitary / The Diseased Heart of Society (2017)

  1. Pingback: The Year In Review – Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2017 | THE HEADBANGING MOOSE

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