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Solanum - Ruled by the Cruel

Solanum
Ruled by the Cruel
by Darren Duffy at 13 July 2021, 1:34 AM

Hailing from the frozen prairie of Winnipeg in Canada, SOLANUM return with a new ripping album. "Ruled By The Cruel “was released in May featuring 9 tracks of aggressive crossover thrash bringing to mind SACRED REICH, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, D.R.I., SUICIDAL TENDENCIES etc. This is their second full length album following on from the 2015 full length “Into the Sinner Circle” and the 2017 EP “Judge – Mental”.

Cue drum roll, first track “Cold Career” opens the proceedings in a somewhat restrained manner belying the cacophony that would follow. At 2:48 the song simply explodes into a blistering blast of hardcore tinged riffing with the drumming of Anders Land pounding out one of the fastest thrash tempos you are likely to hear. Cam McFee does a fine job keeping pace with the vocals. He maintains a clarity in his delivery of the lyrics that is admirable considering the extreme speeds that the songs are cranked up to. “In Contempt” maintains the intensity, this is another head down thrasher with the main riff, having a memorable character that resonates through the song. “Friendly Civil Servant” follows the path of the opener featuring a chunky set of riffs before hurtling off at top speed. It seems that even at this early stage, SOLANUM just have to include a full speed thrashing section somewhere in the song.

Standard Malpractice” was released as a single, this is fast and furious from the offset, only calming down briefly midway, then it is back to full on attack. There is a nod to The Bay Area thrash scene in the chunky riffing on “Under the Boot”, it rumbles along menacingly until shifting up to top gear for the ending.  “Manipulated” has a more interesting structure alternating between the different tempos. “Reckless Obsession” is an assault of razor-sharp riffing culminating in another lightning speed thrash blast. “Homemade Hell” utilizes some more Bay Area style riffing interspersed with the heads down speed sections that are seemingly obligatory at this point. “They Live” finishes off the album with another breakneck thrash assault.

In conclusion: There are plenty of thrashy riffs to savor, the drumming is suitably manic plus the gang chants are used to good effect, alternating with the main vocals. There is not a great deal of variation between the 9 songs but in saying this, SOLANUM have created a consistent album of gritty crossover thrash with “Ruled by the Cruel”.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Cold Career
2. In Contempt
3. Friendly Civil Servant
4. Standard Malpractice
5. Under the Boot
6. Manipulated
7. Reckless Obsession
8. Homemade Hell
9. They Live
Lineup:
Cam McFee – Vocals
Leeroy Shodine – Guitar
Mike Dedly – Guitar
Mike Menza – Bass
Anders Land – Drums
Record Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
     


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Edited 24 September 2021
 

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