SOLITAIRE – Predatress

SOLITAIRE - Predatress
  • 8.5/10
    SOLITAIRE - Predatress - 8.5/10


Ektro Records
Release date: December 10, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Two main facts about the Finnish Solitaire, first, they won’t stop for hitchhikers, they are always on the run like a fired bullet with barely one gas stop. Second, the title “Speeding Demons” won’t scratch their behinds even for a bit , because they changed the meaning of true Speed Metal and they are giving Thrash Metal their own meaning. They are the predators. Solitaire, unlike many colder acts from the “Metal Land” of Finland, is firing the guns with such energy that will drop you to your feet, more like the Canadian Exciter, but with the sound of early Destruction and Tankard.

Solitaire, from Eura, are not so new to the Metal world, they are way over the speeding limit since 1995. After a load of demos between 1997-2001, Solitaire made it through, under Iron Glory Records, and released their first album, Rising To The Challenge, that started a chain reaction the will rise them up to the shining mountain of Speed Metal. Two years later their second release went under way, again with Iron Glory, Extremely Flammable. In 2006, Invasion Metropolis, the last album with the band’s last singer since 1998, went under a different label, Battle Cry.

After the band’s singer , Mika , left the band and Solitaire remained with only two founding members, it was decided that one of them should take charge of the vocal section , and clearly it was the right decision to make. This chosen one is the band’s leader / vocalist / lead guitarist, Riku Salminen who was described by the band as “Blackie Lawless giving a butt-fuck to Mille Petrozza”. Well, this anecdote is not that accurate but you will hear a great vocalist in action. Under Slaminen’s vocal regime, Solitaire had delivered a fourth bomb , under Ektro Records , that will again show you that Old School Metal is here to reign you in while driving a thousand miles an hour.

Of course, Solitaire is no Dragonforce, yet their Speed / Thrash / Heavy Metal is done with a classic touch of mid to late 80s, when Exciter was the God of Speed. The music is pure simple , with Heavy Metal anthems ,speedy riffs and rhythms, machine gun maniacal solos made with Iron Maiden and Exciter touches – all this by two master axemen at work. What is amazing is that the band’s drummer had probably turned into a bucket of water while recording these tracks because the fast pace assault is with no compromises. After hearing this release, you can actually see that Solitaire are keeping up the pace in the same vein of their early material, they use the traditional straightforward riffs ,with no shred of palm muting, and chopping tempos with no intention of being innovative – just plain Old School Speed Maniacs.

Aside from the fact that drumming beats are almost the same in various tracks in Predatress, there is also a mastering problem that one cannot help being distraught from the low volume of the vocals. Solitaire has a great front man with a huge talent while he also masters as a lead guitarist. Maybe he is not Blackie Lawless, surely, anyone who listens to the album wants to hear him out, the guitars and bass are killing him in every song and he sounds like his is gasping for some attention with high-pitched howls and raspy tones. This album could have been much better if this problem was taken care off before its release.

Thunderous highlights from this one are “Spin The Saw” , “Leather Scream” , Riku is tearing down the house while the solos are screaming for vengeance, “F.U.B.A.R” , sounds similar to Kreator meets Exciter kind of stuff, “Rat Studded Maniac” , the only song where it seems Solitaire had taken their offshoot speeding, “Iron Justice” , a true Speed / Heavy Metal anthem of raw justice done – come join the 80s fan club, “1988 ,Revenge Lives On”, also the year when Speed / Thrash was on its peek – a great reminder of the golden years, “From Hell To Horizon” , Thrash Metal at its best.

Solitaire, after Predatress, has again changed its lineup and Salminen turned out to be the only founding member left hanging. Without a doubt their future paths will be the same as this one – its suits them , because they are good at it , but watch out guys and let Riku be heard next time around.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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