Formed a good 20 years ago in a small town called Preston, Solitar certainly know the ropes when it comes to the process of being in a band. Racking up numerous releases and countless shows in the two decades they've been together. And bringing together their history is this live album, aptly titled 'I Promise To Thrash Forever'. A collection of the bands choice cuts from their discography, not just put together in an album, but performed live in concert.
Kicking in with particularly heavy intro of 'Spineless', you notice immediately that the band have set them self apart from most other Thrash in their choice of tuning. The particularly chuggy, heavy riffing hinting at a setup a little lower that the E or D# tunings of most Thrash bands. The riffs throughout the track maintain this theme of keeping the heaviness flowing at a good constant rate, without really tiring themselves out, and the introduce of some harmony and lead work really helps break up the song and balance it well.
Next came the suprising addition of a cover of none other than 'Into The Pit' by legendary Bay-Area Thrashers Testament. The inclusion of a cover so early on was something that threw me off quite a bit. As unexpected places to put a cover go, second is only just ahead of first in that respect. But despite it feeling like a strange decision to follow up the opening track in this way, the cover is executed well, even if feeling a tad slower than the original in parts.
It was honestly not until the third track 'Predator' that I actually realised that the album was recorded live. And that's some massive props to Solitary for that, because if it wasn't for the little interludes between songs, I would of actually never of known! The music is so flawlessly performed and produced up to now, that it sounds like a studio effort by any standards. The track again returns to the bands originals, and re-introduces the bands trademark of heavy hitting riffs and drums.
After taking a quick look at the bands info at this point there's a clear influence by the likes of heavier albums such as At The Gates 'Slaughter Of The Soul' and Testaments 'The Gathering'. Something that you can't really miss listening to the album all the way through. The band certainly wear their influences on their shoulder, and let it influence their own music in a good way. Not making for the most original sound, but a good tried and tested one instead.
Continuing the album, you begin to hear more of the same in terms of songwriting style and the ever present heavy riffing. For a Thrash band, Solitary certainly have a very heavy and groove lined edge to their tracks. Certainly most prevelant in tracks like 'The Downward Spiral' and 'Requiem'. My only really criticism at this point comes with the vocals on the album. They're by no means bad, but the lack of a real range from the deep yelling on display can sometimes sound a little bit monotonous in longer vocal sections. The style very much is a trademark of Preston, also being adopted by the likes of Chris Astley of Xentrix. And it's something that certainly fits the accent well, coming across clear and powerful. But a little more range to vary things here and there sounds like it certainly wouldn't go a miss.
Overall, the album is a great collection of tracks spanning Solitarys twenty year history. The band certainly will have more success targeting fans of a heavier persuasion, but the album is accessible enough to all with any real interest in Metal. If I had to recommend any tracks from the album as personal favourites, I really loved the speedy edge to 'Unidentified' and the crushing stab of 'Predator'.
The band currently have the album for sale on their website, just click here to be took right to it. It's available on CD at the rather low, low price of £2.99. And even comes with a free download code for your immediate listening pleasure. Be sure to pick it up if you're a fan of good heavy Thrash.
|Click here to go to the bands site, where you can purchase the album.
Richard Sherrington - Vocals/ Guitar
Roy Miller- Drums
Andy Mellor - Lead Guitar
Ren Robinson - Bass