Not an ending, but a celebration of the beginning. Twenty-five years of blood, sweat and thrash captured in one performance. Every dream, every drink, every gig from the pubs to the festivals, every demo and album, each riff, each song, every band member come and gone, every knockback every triumph…it all comes down to this. One big stage, one big show, one chance to capture it all – set it down for all to see – the lights, the adrenaline, the volume…the explosion of noise when the pedal hits the metal. Right at the start they promised to thrash forever, and that pledge remains unbreakable. Harder, faster, louder than ever, they are unstoppable. They are Solitary and this is XXV: Live At Bloodstock!
On Sunday 11th August 2019, Solitary took to the stage at the Bloodstock Open Air festival in the UK and delivered a breathless, battering, glorious set of pure thrash metal. The band were celebrating their 25th anniversary of resolute, neck-snapping thrashing and the Bloodstock performance was a victorious statement of jubilant defiance.
Released by Metalville Records on April 22nd, XXV: Live At Bloodstock comes with a deluxe booklet and a host of bonus material on both the CD and DVD. Back in 2019 Solitary released a limited edition EP called XXV which featured three re-recordings of Solitary fan favourites – those studio tracks have been remixed by Mike Bew (Cancer etc) and remastered by Martin Buchwalter (Accuser, Destruction, Tankard etc) and appear on the XXV: Live At Bloodstock CD. The DVD portion of this monster release features, alongside the complete Bloodstock set, a pre-show interview with front man Rich Sherrington and all eight of Solitary’s promo videos to date.
We do love a live album, especially one recorded so we can hear the crowd. It’s a live album, after all. Let us feel like we were there. Which we were.
Yes, this live album is from 2019’s Bloodstock festival and sees Solitary opening up a thrash can of whoop ass on the masses who came to head-bang. 25 years, just a number as Solitary go hell for leather, rolling back the clock and showing that their thrashy sound has as much life now as it did decades previously.
The live portion of this recording features 8 tracks spread across the band’s extensive career and can be seen as more than just a fan-service release. Hell, if this is your first time experiencing the heavy metal machine that is Solitary, you could be jumping in at much worse points.
It helps that Solitary are on absolute point here. Ball-busting, head-smashing and throwing complete caution to the wind with a wild display of glorious thrash heaviness. They just don’t seem to know how to perform badly, and this live recording is the perfect example of just why they’re so beloved.
The icing on the cake? Three remixed and remastered Solitary bangers that have fresh life breathed into them.
Solitary – XXV: Live At Bloodstock Full Track Listing:
1. Blackened Skies
2. Trigger Point Atrocity
3. Keep Your Enemies Closer
4. The Edge of Violence
5. Architects of Shame
6. The Diseased Heart of Society
9. Requiem (Remixed and Remastered)
10. Within Temptation (Remixed and Remastered)
11. Keep Your Enemies Closer (Remixed and Remastered)
Solitary - XXV: Live At Bloodstock (Metalville Records)
The Final Score - 8/10