Vader – Solitude In Madness
Polish death metal veterans Vader started out in 1983, the same year as other legendary bands in the genre, such as Possessed and Death. The two mentioned American bands may have released their debut albums in the 80’s while their Polish collegues had to wait until 1993 for the release of “The Ultimate Incantation”, but the impact the three bands have had on the genre are not that far apart. Especially when it comes to European extreme metal, there are not a lot of acts that can measure up to the powerhouse from Olsztyn.
27 years after the album debut, the time has come for Vader’s 13th full length release “Solitude In Madness”. 13 albums in 27 years is almost an album every two years, so there is no doubt this is an extremely consistent, hard working band.
Except for releasing new records in a solid pace, Vader has also been very good when it comes to never disappointing. You always know what you are going to get and Piotr Wiwczarek and his men always delivers.
Even though it is highly impressive to always be able to step up and do your thing, this is at the same time my problem with Vader. Sure, they are never bad, but instead they never have made a masterpiece either if you ask me. A high average level of quality is positive of course, however I have felt ever since I discovered Vader, that this is a band that rarely makes those “album of the year” records that are 9-10/10 through and through.
With “Solitude In Madness”, I get the same feeling. Don’t get me wrong now, Vader really kick in doors from song one with “Shock And Awe”, then keep trucking with ferocity during the almost half hour long record. The problem for me personally is the same as with most Vader albums. Every time I’m done listening to it, I feel “yup, this is good death metal”. Nothing more, nothing less. Not amazing death metal. Not disappointing death metal. Good, solid death metal from a band with routine that know what people want. But I never feel that extra level of magic that is hard to describe in words.
“Solitude In Madness” has some real bangers especially on the second half with “And Satan Wept”, “Emptiness”, “Final Declaration” as well as “Dancing In The Slaughterhouse” and the closing track “Bones”. Although a lot of songs individually are good songs, the album as a whole has the classic Vader problem for me; being solid but never leaving me truly amazed.
For me, Vader is very much like pizza. I’m rarely not in the mood for it, it’s always quite tasty and even when it’s a bad one, it’s still pretty good. However, it can rarely compete with a lobster or a steak.
Fans will not be disappointed though and Vader are after 37 years still a force to be very much reckoned with, which is highly impressive in every way.
Title: Solitude In Madness
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Date of release: 1/5-20
Stand out track: And Satan Wept