Solitude – Reach For The Sky [REVIEW]

A lot of people might not know much about Japan, but their music scene is always rampant with great artists. From Dir En Grey to artists such as Maximum The Hormone, the country knows how to bring something spectacular to music. The same could be said for classic heavy metal group Solitude, who are able to channel some amazing artists to bring you eight solid tracks of nice riffage.

Kicking off with a mostly guitar centric intro, the first track ‘Venoms Angel’ feels just like a classic thrash metal record out of the gate with held electric guitar notes and a soft, yet poignant acoustic guitar before the rest of the band bring something fast paced and exciting. Bringing off older shades of Metallica and their thrashier elements, the whole first track is the perfect way to get you right into the record. Then leading into ‘Blow’, the Judas Priest feels super strong with this one and the old school flames fly high in testament and the vocals have a gravelly tone, yet power through nicely with the rest of the head banging ensemble.

The record is a full on affair of all things you love about the genre and more! With some of the catchiest songs that feel like they were ripped out of the eighties and nineties, you can only feel the leather jacket protruding out of your body and your hair getting extremely long to feel like you belong with this record. All the tracks know how to hit well with the guitars, with the song ‘Escape From The Crime’ focusing on that. With that track being the instrumental interlude, even if the track almost hits 4 minutes of runtime, the band don’t try and overdo it and brings a brilliant track to help keep up the pace.

The one point that seems to be a mainstay that can be a little bit displeasing to some listeners is the vocal element of it. Whilst it can take a while to get used to the singing voice that Akira Sugiuchi brings to the table, it can somewhat undervalue some of the instrumentation that the band brings, such as the ever-enjoyable riff in ‘You Got My Mind’. The longest track, which is also the albums closer, ‘December’ brings the album to a really amazing close with everything just working together as a cohesive unit and just flowing that much nicer. The track works with the vocal style brought and for those eight minutes, you are hooked from beginning to end.

This album is definitely a one to listen to many different age groups. For the new fans who want that classic feel for the modern age to the older metalhead who want something to take them back to their youth, Solitude have brought something very strong to your music library.