|Solace - 'AD' (Small Stone Records)|
|Written by David Whistance|
|Tuesday, 15 June 2010 05:00|
The saying goes that imitation is the best form of flattery, well in that case there is a certain heavy rock band from Atlanta who will be extremely flattered upon hearing the 'The Disillusioned Prophet' the opening track from Solace's latest album 'AD' along with the following number 'The Immortal, The Dead, And The Nothing' as they sound not unlike metal mammoths Mastodon.
The question I guess being "what came first the Solace chicken or the Mastodon egg", but after researching the band, I eventually discovered the band were formed from the ashes of New Jersey rockers Godspeed, so you have to wonder whether or not either band were actually influenced by one another or if it is purely a musical coincidence?
Either way just like Mastodon these talented New Jersey stoner rockers know how to rock as displayed on this, their third album.
Following on from their debut album 'Further' in 2001 and '13' released in 2003 this album has been a long time coming, originally intended for release in 2005 and finally seeing the light of day here in 2010. As I continued to listen to the album I began to realise my initial reaction to the album may have been slightly premature as I discover there are far more strings to Solace's bow than I originally thought as throughout the album they display various musical styles whilst still remaining in the stoner rock genre (even though I do believe that vocalist Jason considers the band to be hard rock 'n' roll opposed to the label that they have been tagged with).
The infectious blues guitaring that opens 'Six Year Train Wreck' taking on an early Sabbath approach before taking it down to a Southern stoner rock vibe with the suitably titled 'Down South Dog'. If I had to pick one band that I love that has managed to survive through various tragedies and changing musical trends then it would have to be Seattle legends Alice In Chains, and the track 'The Eyes Of The Vulture' simply reminds be of that wonderful band and that has got to be a good thing.
Every now and again a band will release a song with such an awe inspiring title that it will grab your attention and demand you hear more, never has the next song been so apt 'The Skull Of The Head Of A Man' a far more brutal number than the rest of the album, displaying their hardcore influences firmly on their sleeves.
The album finishes with a heavy doom laden number 'From Below' and weighing in at nearly ten minutes long it's not for the faint hearted, yet stick with it and you will be musically blessed. If I were to be honest I would have to confess to not being aware of Solace and wasn't really expecting great things when I received the CD, but I could not have been more wrong - this is a fantastic album that hasn't really got a negative point.
Whether or not Solace are stoner rock, doom rock or simply hard rock, I'd urge anybody out there who loves rock to get this album and if you are in France at the tail end of June then make sure you check them out at this year's Hellfest.