Album Review: Vader – Solitude in Madness

Ever efficient death metal legends Vader have another killer release under their studded belts. After putting out killer new material almost every year it’s time for a new LP, the band’s not so unlucky 13th, for a new dark age in 2020 – Solitude in Madness!

Opener “Shock and Awe” sets the tone with its short, sharp shock of blasting guitars and drums. The high-velocity death metal continues in follow-ups “Into Oblivion” and “Despair” (from previous EP Thy Messenger) with the former bringing a more swinging rhythm in the verse allowing some breathing space in the chorus.

The first song to surpass three minutes comes in “Incineration of the Gods”. The pace is more varied, with the intro building from creeping death over machine gun kick drums to a thrashing speed. “Sanctification Denied ” slows things right down bringing back the swung feel in the verse, with more technical ideas peppered in places. Follow-up “And Satan Wept” ramps the speed back up again to a relentless blast with lots of cool harmonised ideas, especially in the solo.

The majority of the remainder of Solitude in Madness returns to short 2-3 minute attacks. “Emptiness” changes the vibe to give some of the old-skool speed metal Vader like to play, with catchy riffs, bluesy moments in the solos and a more stomping headbanging pace. The familiar deathrashing returns with “Final Declaration” before a straight up thrash attack in “Dancing in the Slaughterhouse” (a cover tune fellow legendary countrymen Acid Drinkers).

Penultimate rager “Stigma of Divinity” is another short blast of relentless Vader death before closer “Bones”. The longest song on Solitude in Madness, clocking in at just shy of four minutes, the song continues the trend of ending the album with a slower, more building number. The first section of the song stomps along at a shuffling pace with simple old-skool style riffing building to a bluesy rock solo. The remainder of the song is a mid-paced headbanging thrasher ending like the end of a gig.

Solitude in Madness is a solid record from Vader, with plenty of their signature elements coming through across the album. When listening to the album start to finish it feels like it was made for short sets at festivals or support slots, which isn’t a bad thing. The band are as energetic as ever with the tight performance and live feel on the album. Solitude in Madness is familiar, straightforward, blasting Vader that’s certain to get the mosh pits in a frenzy when they can get back on tour.

Solitude in Madness is available now via Nuclear Blast.

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