It was the mid-90’s, thrash metal was dying and the heady days of “The Big Four” were fast becoming fading memories. But, one man in the north of England wasn’t prepared to sit around and reminisce about the good old days.
Rich Sherrington had always had a dream to follow in the footsteps of his heroes, Xentrix, and in 1994, he formed his own band, Solitary, and against all reason and sense, started the thrash comeback!
The first Solitary album “Nothing Changes” was released in 1998 on Holier Than Thou Records and bristling with its snarling riffs and ready to fight attitude, even the press couldn’t deny the intensity and integrity of the album. They received positive reviews from major magazines such as Terrorizer, and they hit the road for two UK tours. The rest, as they say, is history!
In 2017, the band released the album “The Diseased Heart of Society”, which was harder, faster and more focussed, and was welcomed with open arms by a society that was much more tolerant of thrash metal.
Now, twenty years later, they have re-released the album that originally set them on their road. There is new artwork, a host of bonus tracks, and a little injection of modern-day studio wizardry, to give the album a heavier and more aggressive sound and it is only available on CD, with NO digital platform whatsoever, so get your copy while you can!
For those of us who weren’t around the first time this was released, there are five bonus demo tracks tagged onto the end of the album, showing just how their sound has changed. Maybe they included these to tempt newer fans to their music or maybe it was just to give older fans a taste of what was, only the band will know that, but either way, I think they are a great addition to an already awesome album.
From the opening bass lines of first track ‘Within Temptation’ it’s obvious this band is not messing around. With chunky riffs and snarling, menacing vocals, these guys are every bit as good as the original thrash bands of the 80’s. With the likes of Metallica, Machinehead, Pantera, Testament and Slayer as influences, they should have been the forefathers of a new wave of UK thrash, so why do they only have just over 4,000 likes on Facebook? (and yes, I do know that Facebook likes is NOT an indicator of how good a band is, before anyone jumps on this comment!)
This no-frills album is fantastic from start to finish, just the type I could listen to repeatedly and still not be bored with it. If this album was their debut back in 1998, then what a debut! There are very few bands that crash onto the scene with a gem of a premier, but these guys should have done just that!
Being a thrash girl at heart, this album gives me everything that I need. The riffs are heavy and meaty, hitting you right in the belly, the trembling basslines and galloping drums are, in a word, superb, and the vocals have just the right amount of grit to give a gruff sound without descending into the dirty vocals that I so hate!
Stand out tracks for me would have to be ‘A Second Chance’ with its hints of Metallica and Pantera and ‘The Downward Spiral’ a brutal groove track that will have you banging your head from the very first note but, in all fairness, there is not a bad track on this album.
It was the advance of the Seattle ‘grunge’ sound that originally contributed to the downfall of thrash in the 90’s and, at the time, I was a huge fan of the grunge scene, thrash not really hitting my radar until later (I was in my late teens so don’t hate me!) Looking back, I wish I was that little bit older so I could have appreciated this when it was first released. I am, however, now a huge fan and will definitely be buying anything else they have done.
Ever Metal recently reviewed a gig they did in Wrexham and I so wish I could have been there for that! But any time they hit the South East now, I will be in attendance!
These guys are simply awesome!!
1 – Within Temptation
2 – The Downward Spiral
3 – A Second Chance
4 – Bitterness
5 – Nothing Changes
6 – Clutching Straws
7 – No Reason
8 – Twisted
9 – Fear
10 – A Second Chance (1996 Demo)
11 – The Bottom Line (1996 Demo)
12 – What Price (1996 Demo)
13 – No Reason (1996 Demo)
14 – Fear (1996 Demo)
Originally posted on Ever Metal