Thursday, April 15, 2010

Solace - A.D.

Small Stone

If you’ve heard Solace’s past work, ain’t no way you’d ever accuse the band of being wimpy. But somewhere between Solace’s last album 13 (a mere seven years ago) and its latest these Jersey boys testosteroned up even further. A.D. is an out-and-out metal album, not stoner rock or doom or whatever subgenre you want to call it. That’s not to say that acid-drenched sludge isn’t still the meat and potatoes of Solace’s sound, but the condiments include some thrash metal guitar accents, larynx-shredding screams and enough bile to choke a Fox News talk show host. This is all a good thing – a lot of the band’s early work sounded like there was a headbanging monster snarling to burst out, skin and organs a-flying; now that it has, Solace has truly come into its own. Guitarists Tommy Southard and Justin Daniels keep the riffs flowing while maintaining structure, the rhythm section pounds when it should and swings when it needs to, and frontdude Jason gives a tour de force performance, shrieking, crooning, moaning, growling and intoning as if he’s finally found his voice. Down South Dog, The Immortal, the Dead and the Nothing and the massive epic From Below smash and bash, but with a grace that comes from tight musicianship and attention to craft. It may be indulging in a cliché to say so, but A.D. is the album to which Solace has been building up for its entire career.

- Michael Toland
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