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Solace - The Brink Award winner

Solace
The Brink
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 08 December 2019, 6:26 PM

SOLACE is a Stoner Doom band from New Jersey and “The Brink,” is their fourth full length and apparently their first one since 2010.  Although I’ve heard the name before, this is my first time actually hearing their music.   While their sound is definitely based on the Stoner side of things, the band is a lot more versatile than they might seem based on that category.   The band also presents a Progressive side to their sound as well, especially in a lot of the drumming and solos.  The song lengths tend to run over to the side of the Prog fence too.  Normally it isn’t much of an issue but a couple of the songs could had been shortened a couple minutes—and with a length of over an hour, the album does get a bit long winded.  Personally, I didn’t have too much of a problem with that as, when it comes to Doom, I want as much as possible. But if you aren’t used to the style or if Prog elements aren’t your thing, then this one might be a tough album to sit through all the way.

From the beginning of opening track, “Breaker Of The Way,” the Stoner influence is out in front.  This presents a good form for the songs to remind very heavy and Doom like even when their sound goes off the beaten path.  Additionally, and despite their Stoner Doom sound, the band isn’t afraid to kick up the tempo, as evident around the three-minute mark.The second track, “Desert Coffin,” really pounds on that sweet, sweet fuzz.  The vocal melodies mixed in with the guitar harmonies add in another dimension to the band’s repertoire, which is Psychedelic.  Doom and Psychedelic Metal/Rock are no strangers to each other but “The Brink,” is an album that really makes the two styles work well together.

Dead Sailor’s Dream,” was a pleasant surprise with hints of Blues influences giving sharp direction to the thick Doom riffs.  Gions’ vocals are on point with his display of obvious mastery over his singing style. “Waste People,” brings in some sludge complete with a raw, more punk rock style attitude.  The approach rides expertly atop the slick and ultra-heavy riffs.  About a minute and forty seconds into it, the song slows down for a catchy and Proggy vocal passage that perfectly bridges the song together. The album’s flow is surprisingly smooth for such a long album and it gets better as goes by; some of the deeper cuts are among the album’s best.

The title track, “The Brink,” is a monster of a track with huge riffs and vocals/bass hanging within a haze of bluesy Doom.  The song speeds up about halfway thru for a wicked guitar solo and intense riffage that is heavy on galloping thunder. Ever wanted to hear what CLUTCH would sound like if they were a Doom Metal band?  “Until The Last Dog Is Hung,” is what you might get out of that scenario.  The rocking, playful nature of the guitar and the vocals that wail over the music with apparent ease is a prime example of a band having fun with their sound and just playing for the love of it, pretense be damned.

That description also very much applies to the album as a whole.  Simply put, this is a heavy as nails Stoner Doom album that still comes off as energetic, creative and just straight up fun while still retaining nothing much a serious respect for themselves and the genre.  The band had a lot of fun making this album and I had a blast listening to it.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Breaker of the Way
2. Desert Coffin
3. Dead Sailor’s Dream
4. Waste People
5. The Light Is A Lie
6. Crushing Black
7. Bird of Ill Omen
8. Shallows Fade
9. The Brink
10. Until The Last Dog Is Hung
11. Dead Sailor’s Reprise
Lineup:
Tommy Southward – Guitar
Justin Daniels – Guitar
Goins – Vocals
Mike Sica – Bass
Timmy Gitlan - Drums
Record Label: Blues Funeral Recordings
     


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Edited 17 January 2020
 

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