REVIEW: VADER – “Solitude In Madness”
There are some bands that summon an inner demon in us. Bands that are so strong, so energetic and so passionate about their will to wreak havoc that this floods over the speakers, bombing everything around us. Vader, the polish war tank, is one of those few that destroy everything in their path and deliver the goods in a most vicious way. Four years after their great ‘Empire’ and less than one after ‘The Messenger’ EP, Peter, and his acolytes are back with the fitting ‘Solitude in Madness’.
Ranging at a wonderful 29:29, expect fast and powerful slabs of crunchy death/thrash in tracks that don’t clear the three-minute mark and will leave you wanting for more; Vader are masters at doing this.
Neck-cracking, head-banging tunes fill the record once again, this time around with the band shifting from a more thrash-oriented sound to the full-on death steamroller akin of the ‘Litany’ (2000) years. Brutal efforts like “Incineration of the Gods” and “And Satan Wept” set the tone by being calamitous and heavy, which intertwines marvelously with the more head-banging moments such as “Dancing in the Slaughterhouse”.
The guitar and drums carry a lot more weight in comparison to the previous full-length, courtesy of a stupendous mixing job by Scott Atkins (Cradle of Filth, Savage Messiah and more). These additional punch fit songs such as “Sanctification Denied” like a glove, providing extra layers and a more organic take to the sound.
Despite being an old-school death/thrash band, Vader always managed to make their songs accessible and catchy. Peter and crew don’t sacrifice rawness for melody, but instead make room for both every time they can, as it is in “Emptiness” and “Bones”, for example. Both are constructed in a mid-tempo with a traditional metal touch, which adds even more to the mix and will definitely provide some room to breathe for the less frantic.
However, the album is less dynamic than some of its predecessors, opening more room to the old-school vibe I mentioned above. The reason I compare this to ‘Litany’ is exactly because of the purity and classic death elements that are more prominent here. Nevertheless, consistency is key here and Vader is no new acquaintance of that. The leads, bridges, and solos are everything you can expect from the polish masters, and the energy never goes down a notch.
It’s not easy to keep being relevant after 30+ years of activity, and even harder to not have low points in that time span. Vader is definitely one of the bold and few to keep at it consistently, shifting somethings here and there, but without detaching from their roots; and ‘Solitude in Madness’ is a statement of that, from the cover to the last track. Vader does it again, and by the looks of it with continue do to so for a long time. So buy this, raise the volume and let the war machine keep turning.