Review: Solace

(Meteor City)

Where the roll of Black Sabbath and the rock of Led Zeppelin collide.  In the land of the thick guitar riffs that snake along the path of ‘rock’.  Singer Jason evokes that sex-howl of Robert Plant and lays it against the neurotic approach of Ozzy.  The epic length first track, “Loving Sickness / Burning Fuel” even throws down a harmonica break that will having you thinking Sabbath’s ‘The Wizard’ as that was the only sludgy rock tune I’ve heard successfully work in such a blues instrument.

While the machine is crawling guitar rock riffs supreme, liberal doses of speedy tempo breakouts let the Kyuss influence grease the gears.  Stoner-rock of a higher caliber.  Gothic ‘Day of the Dead’ type graphics permeates the imagery presented in this release.  Solace used to be a band called “Godspeed” and their history and experience are shining through on “13”.  Many songs top the four-minute mark with a few straying into six-plus minute journeys of deep, dark rock.

Lots of guitar exploration and solos are a featured movement of most any song.  But when you are packing a guitarist like Tommy Southard, the more room you give him, the more he will impress you.  Varied deliveries in vocals, guitars riffs and general tones spice up such a blatant ‘rock’ record.  And while rock this traditional in nature tends to follow very clear blueprints laid before them, Solace has an amazing degree of freshness to their vibe, execution, sound, whatever that intangible element is that allows a band to sound ‘fresh’ when they are blatantly treading in previously explored musical territories.  Solace exceed in out-rocking their influences to the point of becoming their own creation.