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Into The Jasta Circle - 81%

Sweetie, June 9th, 2021

Ever wonder what Hatebreed would sound like if they were more metal-oriented and less hardcore-oriented? Solanum are basically here to give you a taste of exactly that. Hailing from Canada, this is a crossover group that pounds old-school thrash riffs into a cemented hardcore aesthetic in the vocals. The result is Into The Sinner Circle or I.T.S.C, which is exactly what I described, constructed with longer song runtimes.

Actually, that was the first thing that surprised me. Anymore, you don’t find bands with this style that crank out longer tunes over a beefier backbone. The vocals have such sharp speeds, spitting out line after line with a vicious attitude over intense riffing. The sheer fact that they could run with this for so long on some of these songs is pretty impressive as is. Granted, a lot of this has several different approaches within each song, but the fluidity of it caught me off-guard.

The consistency of I.T.S.C. is aided by the noisier production without taking away from the overall output. It does bury the ones that lean closer to the punkier edge just by a bit. The first two minutes or so of “Strangled By Disease'' are harder to grasp, but it makes the thrashier back of this that much dirtier. The drumming here adds another layer of intensity, tagging along with the grittier tinge in the vocals. I also love when the slower, slammier sections lead up to the nastiest attacks, like in the title track. There’s little direction in what you’ll encounter when. The most straightforward thrash attacks come in the beginning and the end, showing brightest in tunes like “Homicide Suicide” and “Beg For Your Life."

Solanum as a whole held up better than I remembered, and I’m eternally grateful for it. For something that paints itself with a rather overdone style, it sure made a strong effort to stand out. A lot of it is probably chalked-up to the old-school approach. Either way, scoop this up if you’re into Hatebreed, Dr. Living Dead, or anything that strays from the crossover norm.

Originally written for Sleeping Village