ALBUM REVIEW: Solitary – XXV

SOLITARY’s latest EP XXV is, for me, the perfect blend of SLAYER and Dave Mustaine era METALLICA. The four piece from Preston consists of Rich Sherrington (Vocals, Guitar), Andy Mellar (Lead Guitar), Gaz Harrop (Bass), and Roy Miller (Drums).

A personal favourite track is Requiem. It’s a brutally aggressive track that sets the tone in so many ways, including the old school beatdown it opens with. The feel and the pulsating beat means that this song is sure to be a favourite for all the pit-fiends out there.

The track Within Temptation continues the punishment starting off with a combo of bass and drums. This can only mean that this is definitely one for fans of JUDAS PRIEST’s Painkiller (Which is just about everybody, I think). Yes, it’s a great track but it’s one downside is that it might raise the hopes of a certain Dutch Symphonic Metal band…

And can we please talk about Keep Your Enemies Closer? On the track starting I was thinking that this was fairly typical of the genre; fast drums, fast guitars, aggressive vocals, you know the usual. I had to go back and listen to mull over this track, whilst it’s not my favourite track on the EP, I do think it is a really good display of guitar proficiency from Andy Mellar. Now, I was not expecting a solo that good. All the hairs on my arm stood up, it leads in so slowly that you don’t expect what’s coming and then you wind up wondering if he has enough time to give extra lessons. I say that because it wasn’t just speed, there was precision and passion there too.

The album also contains two live tracks Architects of Shame and The Diseased Heart of Society. Now, I will admit that I’ve yet to see this band live but they will be playing the Sophie Lancaster stage at Bloodstock Open Air 2019 in about a weeks’ time. I will definitely be going out of my way to see them and I recommend that you do too, worst comes to worst you’ll see some good musicians doing what they do best.

Now, I realise I’ve been quiet on the topic of the vocals. It isn’t because they are bad, in fact I very much really like them, they really remind me of a band I was into when I was a teenager. But I’ve scoured the internet and apparently this is the only band Mr. Sherrington has been in, so that coupled with the fact that I know the vocalist for the other band probably means it isn’t him.

Overall; I think that whilst this EP won’t be for everybody, I think it’s definitely worth checking out. It’s a worthy tribute to the band’s 25 year anniversary and honestly a good way to follow up their 2017 full length The Diseased Heart of Society. I personally can’t wait to see what they release in the next few years.

Rating: 7/10

Words: Jacob McCrone

XXV is due for release on 9th August 2019 via Doc Records.

Find SOLITARY on Facebook and their official website.

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