Polish death metallers, Vader, will release their new album, Solitude in Madness on the 1st of May via Nuclear Blast.
Vader have been one of death metal’s most consistent outlets once they eventually managed to release their debut full length, The Ultimate Incantation in 1992, despite having formed officially in 1983. Since then though, and eve with a vast number of member changes, Vader have released an album every 3 years or so. Solitude in Madness will be the band’s 12th release which is a seriously impressive milestone. It follows 2016’s The Empire though we also got the EP, Thy Messenger in May last year.
As mentioned above, Vader have been through a fair few member changes over their long existence. Only one member remains the same since 1983 and that is guitarist and vocalist, Piotr Wiwczarek. The band have managed to stay together now since 2011 though with rhythm guitarist Marek Pająk joining in 2010 and bassist Tomasz Halicki and drummer James Stewart both joining in 2011.
On to the new stuff though with Solitude in Madness. 11 tracks of aggressive death metal with that all important touch of Vader flair. Shock and Awe is a beast of an opener. The pace and power in the rolling drums is just phenomenal. Vocals are gruff and angry with a nice simple riff that grabs your attention. There is a fiery solo too that just elevates the track at just the right time. What a start but the quality doesn’t stop there. Into Oblivion keeps the pace and ferocity going but with a darker riff layered with an extra helping of groove. It’s quite mind-blowing how a song so full of speed and aggression manages to also be catchy as fuck.
The “Into Oblivion” shots are backed by the deepest grove and an ascending guitar line that just has to be heard while there are little mini solos dotted all over the track, stopping just to allow passages of extreme death to hammer you for a while. Despair comes next and hits us hard with a bit more of a straightforward track. Fast and intense drums and bass lay the foundation for the powerful metal vocals and pulsating riff to encompass you while a short solo acts as a little bit of relief from the fury on offer.
Incineration of the Gods brings the groove back starting with a memorable drum intro before a banging riff joins in. The vocals impress with loads of little touches like a bit of echo or some backing that just keeps things feeling fresh. The fast and fiery verses make way for one of the best solos on the album before returning to pummelling death. Sanctification Denied follows and brings a darker, deeper rhythm to things. The drums are so catchy, you just have to get your neck muscles moving. Screeching guitars fall over the song, raising the hairs on your arms but it is the intense groove that comes with the riff, bass and drums that closes the song that will have jaws dropping.
And Satan Wept is another good track. Not quite up to the heights of the songs that came before it but it has moments. The solo is great, the riff during the “chaos, death, destruction” part is amazing. How good is James Stewart on the drums though? I mean all members, all instruments sound brilliant but the drumming is on another level. Emptiness starts with a banging solo. I love how creative Vader are on Solitude in Madness. Every song stands out and has it’s own unique characteristics while simultaneously all sounding like they are on exactly the right album, and in exactly the right place on that album. The groove in Emptiness is on another level. The vocals mix up tones as well, just to add a little more variety.
Final Declaration and Dancing in the Slaughterhouse come next. Final Declaration is a bit more of a straightforward melodeath track hitting us with a punishing rhythm and ferocious vocals. Dancing in the Slaughterhouse has one of my favourite short solos on it, surrounded by speed riffing and punchy drum blasts. Stigma of Divinity is the penultimate track and is also the shortest on the album. Vader still manage to bring plenty of variety in less than two minutes though with a nice mix of ferocity and an undercurrent of groove. The drums hit insane speeds and again we get a solo that is to die for.
That brings us to the final track of Solitude in Madness. An absolute colossus of an album. Bones is the longest track on the album at just under 4 minutes long and takes a bit of everything heard thus far and rolls it into the best song on the album, for me. The beat at the beginning is insanely catchy. The sort of music that has your head banging almost instantly. This is just a phenomenal metal track that has to be heard. The solos are exquisite, the vocals are raging and the riffs are pummelling but within all this heaviness, there is an air of confidence and majesty. Brilliant!
Vader have released one of the best albums of the year. That is for sure. A near faultless release with 11 tracks of insanely strong and creative metal that expands well beyond the confines of death metal. This is an album that deserves to be heard and applauded. Solitude in Madness excites and elivers from the very first note, bever letting up, leaving you absolutely awestruck as the final notes ring out.
You can preorder Vader’s Solitude in Madness now from Nuclear Blast here. Otherwise keep you eyes peeled on your favourite streaming service on the 1st of May to get your copy.
Solitude in Madness by Vader (Nuclear Blast)
The Final Score - 9.5/10