Words El Jefe.
Solace could be considered the Rolling Stones of the stoner/doom/metal/hard rock genre. They’ve led a sporadic existence for close to a quarter of a century, released a couple of absolute killer LP’s and had a career path carefully speckled with inactivity, break-ups and more drummers than you can count amongst other hilarious adventures. I also seem to recall they had put the band up on blocks permanently a few years (?) back, so the arrival of The Brink came as something of a surprise to me. Guitarist Tommy Southard has been the constant, along with partner in crime, frontman Justin Goins whose powerhouse larynx is a signature tone to the Solace sound, and if you have a listen to the brutal howls he can rip from his tonsils on a tune like the maniacal Cement Stitches, you’re gonna get a clear view of how he is integral to the bands’ output.
The Brink is a double LP, with most tunes clocking in above the 5 minute and a couple heading for the 10 minute mark. But they don’t seem like long songs, this is an important point. They have a starting point, and brick by brick move through a soundscape and lead the listener to somewhere new. As arty-farty and pretentious as this might sound, it’s not even in the slightest. What the guys have pulled off with this album is slamming together some truly rockin’ riffs with some no holds barred guitar interplay wrapped up with a bad arse rhythm section, and screaming vocals just to ice it.
The songwriting has been taken to the next level, as well as being stylistically consistent across all four sides of The Brink. The playing hits jawdropping levels at times as well with guitarists Southard and Justin Daniels slamming on enough dual/harmony guitar parts to make Thin Lizzy look like The Carpenters. Indeed, with the complexities in some of the arrangements, the band as a whole just fuckin’ nail it on this record, and make me thankful they held on and managed to bring the band back to life.
And yet despite the depth and complexities of the record, the heart and soul is pure dirty, riff-heavy rock’n’roll, and the band never once blinks or pulls their punches.
I’ve wondered if the title, The Brink, is a reference to the resurrection of Solace as a band, but never the less I can see this album making its way into a lot of peoples hearts. It’s an epic, and with so many elements going on, is gonna be the gift that keeps on giving!
Solace The Brink is OUT NOW through Blues Funeral Recordings HERE.