Solace - "13"
(Meteor City 2002, MCY-027)

From Aural Innovations #22 (January 2003)

13 is New Jersey based Solace's follow up to their Further CD from 2000, also on the Meteor City label. The band is a quartet and consists of Tommy Southard on guitar; Jason on vocals, Rob Hultz on bass, and John Proveaux on drums. I'll warn you at the outset that this album takes no prisoners. Solace come roaring out of the starting gate with "Loving Sickness/Burning Feel", a song that begins along the Led Zeppelin/Black Sabbath axis, but after a couple minutes the band launches into a full metal freakout frenzy with brain crushing chords and fuzzed out trip licks. An excellent opening track!

"Indolence" and "Rice Burner" are cool tunes that have a potent Sabbath drenched Stoner vibe, though Solace inject a far more energetic rock n roll feel. "King Alcohol", "In The Oven" and "Sled Heavy" are standout tracks that come across as crushing power-doom fist-pumping head-banging Hell fests. Two of my favorites are "Once Around The Sun (Deep Through Time)" and "Try". The former is another mind-bending heavy rocker with killer tripped out psych-metal guitars, and at 7 minutes the band take plenty of time for some earth shattering space jamming. And "Try" is a killer Blues-psych-metal jam tune that once again trips out in space.

Rounding out the set is "Common Cause" with mucho cool guest Wino on vocals, and covers of Pentagram's "Forever My Queen" and Agnostic Front's "With Time". Finally, "Shit Kisser" is listed as a bonus track. I was fired up when I got to this one because the time of the track was nearly 10 minutes so I thought I was settling in for some serious jamming. But alas, the music doesn't even start until after 5 minutes of silence. Ah well, it's a kick ass tune anyway.

In summary, well.... Jeeeeeeez.... this fucker tired me out!! These guys are heavy to the max, but the music is intricately structured and contains the perfect mix of metal, stoner rock and spaced out psychedelia. Headbangin music that rewards the attentive listener with something new upon each new spin. Look for it on my Best of 2002 list. Highest recommended to fans of all things HEAVY!

For more information you can visit the Solace web site at:
13 is released on the Meteor City label. You can visit their web site at:
Contact via snail mail c/o Meteor City; PO Box 40322; Albuquerque, NM 87196.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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