Vader - Solitude in Madness
Nuclear Blast
Death Metal
11 songs (29:29)
Release year: 2020
Vader, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat

On their fourteenth (or thirteenth, or sixteenth, depending on how you count them!) full-length, Polish death metal veterans Vader are comfortably reliable in that Motörhead-ian way. You know exactly what you'll get on one of their albums, tight and technical(ly-played if not actual tech-death) rumblings of thrash-infused death metal that rattle the bones and exercise the neck. And Solitude in Madness is no different, the shortest album that Vader have produced aside only from 1997's Black to the Blind; starting with a bang in the vicious Shock and Awe and barely letting up from then on. Keeping the same line-up since 2011 means that the band are settled into a capable songwriting groove, and there are few surprises to be had here.

Yet this is Vader, and a lack of surprises is a good thing. Highlights are frequent, as ever the band being terrific songwriters. They even throw in frills and trills to keep your ears peeled, such as Incineration of the Gods' little drum intro followed by an almost old-school grindcore-esque bit of blasting, soon slowing and expanding into a thrashier number with some atmospheric clangs at the end. Into Oblivion's epic overtones help it stand out thanks to those lead guitar melodies, but it also manages to be genuinely heavy due to the rhythm riffs and thunderous backing drumming. Emptiness opens with a solo trade-off for an immediate flow of energy, while the sub-four minute Bones (the longest track on the album!) has an infectious groove that it soon discards in favour of a wonderfully pit-friendly thrash gallop, closing the album with style. The closest thing to a genuine oddity here is a cover of cult Polish thrashers Acid Drinkers, and Dancing in the Slaughterhouse is as riotous as you'd want but also fits in perfectly with the surrounding original Vader material.

The real joy to be had from a Vader album, however, is at its simplest, when the band put their heads down and get on with it; cranking out the riffs and (more skilful than necessary) drumming from James Stewart (of Berzerker Legion, Bloodshot Dawn, and others) to form intense but widdly death metal stompers such as Sanctification Denied or And Satan Wept. Listen, kids, Vader have been doing this for nearly 40 years, and you can tell; their music is lean and utterly without flab, played with the intensity of underground lifers who do it because they love it. And Solitude in Madness is exactly what you would ask of the band, yet another fun yet razor-sharp collection of songs that is as perfect for after-work relaxation with a beer as it doubtless will be live, when the plague angels allow us such frivolities again! Long live Vader.

Killing Songs :
Shock and Awe, Incineration of the Gods, Sanctification Denied, Emptiness, Bones
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Vader that we have reviewed:
Vader - The Empire reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Vader - Tibi Et Igni reviewed by Jared and quoted 90 / 100
Vader - Welcome To The Morbid Reich reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Vader - Litany reviewed by Tony and quoted CLASSIC
Vader - Necropolis reviewed by Kyle and quoted 82 / 100
To see all 12 reviews click here
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