Saturday, October 23, 2010

Solace: A.D. (2010)


In anticipation of Monster Magnet's newest album, I thought I'd review Solace's A.D. Solace is a New Jersey band that's a rare animal: stoner metal. Sure, there are stoner rock bands, and there are stoner doom bands, but a pure stoner metal band is not too common. They formed in 1996, about the height of the stoner rock/doom/metal phenomenon. Even though they've been around for 14 years, A.D. is only their third full-length.

They sound like a heavier version of Monster Magnet, right down to the Wyndorf-like nasally vocals, with hints of Remission-era Mastodon (mostly on the first couple tracks).

Many of the tracks are slower for the first half, and then speed up for the second half. Album highlight "Six Year Trainwreck" is no exception (a song title which might suggest why they haven't had an album in 7 years). There's a lot of great groove, some southern comfort, and those signature stoner metal solos. The production is good, and they've captured the fuzzy sound perfectly.

The songwriting is a bit predictable at times, and some of the songs tend to be a bit forgettable. But there's also a lot of strong material on here, and their sound is highly enjoyable.

The Verdict: This is a worthwhile album for anyone who's a fan of the style, but probably won's be mind-blowing for anyone who isn't. For sludge metal fans too young to remember stoner metal, this would be a decent way to expand their horizons. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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