With the advent of the rise of bands like PANTERA and MACHINE HEAD in the early 1990s, the definition of "Thrash" was thrown way out of proportion. Instead of describing bands like DRI, CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER, and NUCLEAR ASSAULT, or Speed/Thrash fusion bands like KREATOR or SLAYER, the genre name became ambiguous. Around the same time, many bands who were part of the Thrash movement started releasing albums that were somewhat Thrashy, but weren"t quite there. Thus, the term "Half-Thrash" was coined.
SOLITARY is a band which I believe fits perfectly into that category. There are enough moments on here to remind one of Speed/Thrash, but at the same time there is a creeping PANTERA influence at work here. It is the latter style which is predominant throughout this release. Which is perfectly acceptable if you enjoy MACHINE HEAD and bands similar.
However, I really do not like MACHINE HEAD, and I think PANTERA made maybe 4 or 5 interesting songs throughout their entire career. Needless to say, I find SOLITARY to be quite underwhelming. There really isn't much here separating this music from Nu-Metal (another style I absolutely abhor). Occasional good moments do pop up, like in the beginning of "Predator", the solo in "Aftermath" (possibly the highlight), parts of "Requiem", but for every decent moment, there seems to be ten absolutely dull moments, namely "15 Years", the TESTAMENT cover "Into The Pit" (a band I don't like covering another band I don't like, what a recipe for disaster). Also, the song "Relentless"...groovy boredom! I was completely deceived by the title.
Musically, each member of the band executes their role in a satisfactory manner. The guitarists don't seem to know how to shake off the newer EXODUS or PANTERA influences, the bass might as well not even be there, and the vocals sound like any Nu-Metal band from the early 2000s, mixed in with occasional cleaner singing (though thankfully this vocalist never goes into whiny bitch mode). The drums are probably the best part here, but even they aren't much to write home about.
Really, if you like TESTAMENT, MACHINE HEAD, newer EXODUS, or PANTERA, you will probably like this. I'm probably not the right person to review this CD, as I found it to be extremely boring, and much too close to Nu-Metal/Groove Metal while having little to no Thrash.
(Online January 23, 2009)