New Jersey's SOLACE are back with a new heavy load, and it's been a while ago since their first album. "13" got everything, what an interesting modern heavy doomy album needs. It's packed with tight monstrous grooves, passionate hooklines, an amount of massive heavy riffs, which are interwoven into a monumental and emotional landscape. SOLACE got an intelligent and powerful way to connect their different influences, reaching from Hardcore over Prog to 70's Doom. It seems, as if here isn't a big difference to "Further", but after a lot of spins, SOLACE have incorporated a stronger 70's spirit, like the harmonica in "Loving Sickness/Burning Fuel" f.e, and the songs aren't so long-winding than before. Here's still the anger, but not so much in front as on "Further". SOLACE are coming up with a lot of weighty riffs, but they got the skills to write complex atmospheric songs, with clever chord changes, instead of just repeating the same Sabbath-influenced riffs again and again. Another big bonus of this band are the vocals of Jason. He's one of the reasons, why this band has a very characteristic sound.
This band creates an atmosphere with their songs, and I love this intense dark vibe! Apart of their own tracks, SOLACE have included two excellent covers. First one is "Forever My Queen" from Pentagram and "With Time" from Agnostic Front. Both versions are definitely worth to check out, and they aren't worser than the originals. And as if this aren't enough good facts about "13", SOLACE invited Scott 'Wino' Weinrich, a long-time fan of the band, as guest musician for two songs. Wino's charismatic voice and guitarwork fits perfect into the heavy wall of sound, and his slide-guitar playing adds a southern-vibe to "Common Cause", while in "Indolence", he 'only' plays guitar. SOLACE have put together a damn fine heavy hitter, that could be also interesting for fans of Tool, and it's a proof, that within this genre not all ideas are lost. I was only a bit disappointed, that the band included three previously released tracks ("Loving Sickness/Burning Fuel" , "King Alcohol" , "Sled Heavy"), but that no reason for leaving out "13". The album has been released in the USA through Meteor City Records and on Listenable Records for Europe. For all you vinyl-junkies out there, get a copy of the strictly limited deluxe double-vinyl version on Beard Of Stars Records.