Solace: 13 (MCY-027)
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Tracks:

1. Loving Sickness/Burning Fuel
2. Indolence
3. King Alcohol (Real Audio)
4. Once Around the Sun (Real Audio)
5. Common Cause
6. In the Oven
7. Forever My Queen
8. Theme...
9. Try
10. Sled Heavy
11. Rice Burner
12. With Time
13. Shit Kisser (Hidden Track)
/

Distanced From Reality: The Official Solace Website

Interviews:

HardRadio.com
Gl Productions

Tommy Southard - Guitars
Rob Hultz - Bass
John Proveaux - Drums
Jason - Vocals

Guests:
Wino - Vocals, lead and slide guitar on Common Cause, lead guitar on Indolence
Rick Lewis - Keyboards
Mad Lee - Harmonica

Recorded at Trax East and Word of Mouth
Mixed by Eric Rachel, produced by Eric Rachel and Tommy Southard

Cover art by Paul Vismara, interior art and layout by sp!nner

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Jersey Beat
Paul Hanson
 

Solace's last release, Further, lived in my CD player when I got it. I found that release to be full of vigor and power. 13 kicks off with the powerful "Loving Sickness/ Burning Fuel", a progressive rock track. The song starts out with a bar of 4/4, then a bar of 5/4, then a bar of 4/4, then a bar of 6/4. This interesting idea lasts for the first 1:41 of the track. Then the drummer hits a "1 2 3 4" on his hi-hat and the band launches into a ferocious straight 4/4 feel with intense drumming and an equally intense guitar riff. Then at the 3:24 point in the song, a third musical idea is introduced, this time featuring a harnonica solo. Then, to finish the song, the opening riff is repeated, only this time it is in straight 4/4 time. Track two, "Indolence", kicks off with a strong backbeat and double-time drums. The band does sound like they are in a time warp from the 70s. Vocalist Jason's voice sounds like Ozzy at his height with Black Sabbath and guitarist Tommy Southard has assembled fuzzy guitar riffs with the right amount of feedback. Pulling from an idea experimented with on Further, "Once Around the Sun (Deep through Time)" begins with a sample of two androids talking about their "perfection." The perfection of this 7:12 rocker is the way the instruments on this track sound like a well-oiled machine. Overall, Solace pays tribute to their 70s influences with a lot of poise and character. There are some interesting musical ideas.

 
 
 
 
 
Indieville.com
Matt Shimmer - Feb 24 - Mar 2 2003
 
Whoa Nelly! Stoner rock has always been out there, but Solace is taking it to a whole new galaxy with 13! Explosive solos, absolutely monstrous riffs, and even a bit of harmonica characterize the band's incredible style, and their ravaging vocals and destructive drumming further propel them into stoner rock greatness.

"King Alcohol" sums up their style nicely. Obviously dedicated Sabbath-heads, the four guys responsible for Solace get the track done perfectly; over the course of nearly six minutes, the listener is dropped into a savage world of raucous guitars and throat-busting vocals. Vile, perhaps - demented, probably - but relentless... definitely. When Solace are playing, they don't offer any remorse. The closest you get to a break from the noise is a creepy little movie sample at the start of "Once Around The Sun (Deep Through Time)," which only helps to build the mood before it is blown out of the water by the obligatory onslaught of guitars that follows.

At times, Solace gets a bit more accessible with their style. "Rice Burner" is a fine example of this - they start off in a dark, mysterious mood, and then add in the guitars, all the while keeping things very catchy so as to enthrall listeners of all musical persuasions. Though they still retain a vile, powerful spirit, there's a certain tunefulness present that will get you humming along. As well, its jerky, spasmodic sound is sure to get just about anyone head banging. Shit yeah.

But, I'd have to say my favourite piece is "Loving Sickness / Burning Fuel". Even more accessible than "Rice Burner," the piece starts off in a dense sludge of riffs and wicked choruses. But it reaches its best part once the harmonica is added to the mix. Joyous yet creepy, the harmonica melds perfectly with the monster riffs accompanying it - the result is a wicked solo that's just as good as anything an axe could pull off.

To put it simply, I highly recommend Solace's 13 to both stoner rock fans and those just interested in getting a taste of the genre. They've got one of the freshest sounds the metal scene has ever cultivated, and missing out on it would be doing yourself a great disservice.

90%


 
 
 
 
 
Concrete Web
 
Currently causing a big stir on the heavy stoner rock scene, New Jersey�s Solace are taking the world with this, their second album following in the wake of their now legendary debut "Further". "Loving sickness/burning fuel" is the perfect opening track combining the catchy NWOBHM/Sabbath-like riffs with melody and fantastic singing and screaming from Jason. Its impact is instant and to the point. Jason is without doubt an unsung hero for Solace, his wonderful range of vocals add an excellent element to the dark and moody harmonies. This track features a southern fried duel between breakneck solos and screeching harp. "Indolence", "King Alcohol", "Sled heavy" and "In the oven" are slower, doomier and crunchier and see Tommy Southard rip through some of the heaviest and most memorable groove guitar riffs ever blazed out. Solace�s groove sound also arises from the "free your mind�and your ass will follow" rhythm-section of drummer John and bass player Rob. The legend of doom metal Wino (Place of Skulls, ex-Spirit Caravan) shines on "Common cause" .. Absolute highlight is "Rice burner" tempo and time changes wanders all over the place, it�s raw, dirty and fuckin� aggressive covered in layers of bludgeoning sludge riffs like a precious stone mined from the depths. Included here are covers of Pentagram�s doom classic "Forever my queen" and Agnostic Front�s "With time" and they deliver the goods for sure.

"13" is a true classic in stoner rock, doom metal, riff rock or any other sub genre you wish to put it into. Essential buy!!!

Points: 96/100


 
 
 
 
 
Terrorizer
by Marion Garden - Issue #108
 
Beauty and menace grapple jealously on '13', each mood attempting to wrestle control of the proceedings. Solace's second album is immense, the diversity and creativity grow stronger with every spin as new dimensions come to light. Guitar solos and rhythms layer the sound like brushstrokes to canvas. Doom, fuzz and reverb fuse in a heady tonic that checks Black Sabbath, without suffocating the proceedings in overkill. Guitarist Tommy Southard and Rob Hultz (both ex-Godspeed) leave '13' dripping in quaking doom riffs and vibrant leads while variety is quick paced. 'Indolence' has a catchy heavy-handed bassline that shimmy and shakes, while 'Rice Burner' melds epic doom with a chugging post-Helmet chorus. The vaults of doom are reverently opened with a respectful version of Pentagram's 'Forever My Queen' and in an unpredictable twist, they drape Agnostic Front's 'With Time' in reverberating fuzz. The final icing on this beautifully crafted cake is that Solace manage to slip in a super-special guest appearance by Wino handling all vocals, lead and slide guitar on 'Common Cause', a track he wrote with the band. Pure poetry and an almighty seal of approval from one of doom's holiest fathers.

8.5/10


 
 
 
 
 
Caustic Truths!
by Justin - Issue #90
 
Smooth and melodic are two words not normally associated with heavy metal, but this album brings both to mind.  A number of influences, including the Master himself, Ozzy Osbourne, can be heard throughout this album.  The music rocks hard.

5/5


 
 
 
 
Backfire
by Adem Tepedelen - Spring 2003
 
It's not too often you'll hear Pentagram ("Forever My Queen") and Agnostic Front ("With Time") covers on the same album.  But, hey, Solace is that kind of band. While these four Jersey Shore mooks definitely have an affinity for groove-heavy stoner rock, 13 ain't exactly another Kyuss/Monster Magnet knock-off.  There are definitely grandiose MM-like dynamics and even vocals, but for the most part Solace seem to scratch out their own gnarled version of 1970's-style thudola.  And to assure authenticity, stoner-rock demi-god Scott "Wino" Weinrich adds vocas and guitar to the appropriately St. Vitus-like "Common Cause."

Through 12 well-produced and super-heavy cuts, 13 shakes, shimmies, and shudders like a road-worn GTO lurching to life, tires squealing and smoke spewing.  A sweet ride, all the same.


 
 
 
 
 
Guitar One
May 2003
 
Evidently this New Jersey quartet didst consort with an evil alchemist to perfect the Black Sabbath sound that dominates their second full-length disc (third, if you count one recorded under the name Godspeed).  The nasally vocals and vintage metallic guitar tones are dead ringers for a young Ozzy and Tony Iommi.  Guitarist Tommy Southard replicates Iommi's style right down to the vibrato on the enchanting power-chord sludge and super-fuzz blues leads.  Indubitably, it is an imitation of an ancient formula, but there is creepy comfort in hearing it done well.  Moment of Truth:  "King Alcohol" (3:57-5:03) Southard plays slow blues stoner-rock style, meaning he applies off-pitch bends and wide vibrato, not to mention fuzz and wah pedals, to the pentatonic scale.

 
 
 
 
 
Transworld Stance
by Sleazegrinder  - Volume 12 Issue 3
 
Although this is not Solace's thirteenth record, these red-eyed Jersey devils from way back let loose with the space mud and epic motorcycle-rock so effortlessly that it might as well be.  From the Pentagram cover to the vintage Thin Lizzy grooves, 13 is about as state-of-the-art as water-bong afficionados are gonna get.  Oh yeah, and scraggly Doomboss Wino (St. Vitus, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan) even shows up on a couple tracks.  Turns out it actually is pretty easy bein' green.

3/5


 
 
 
 
Unrestrained Magazine
Issue 21
 
There have been very few records I have reviewed for this issue that have hit me square in the face, thus knockin' me on my ass.  Solace's sophomore release '13' is one of those albums that clocked me right between the eyes with a meaty slab of Black Sabbath-inspired doom/stoner rock.  A tad more aggressive than their past work, Solace has managed to incorporate a real feisty attitude on '13', dishing out sinister riffs, maniacal fuzzed-out vocals and lots of bottom-end groove.  Solace singer Jason does a fine job leading his troops through heavyweights like "Indolence", "Sled Heavy" and the sinister-sounding "King Alcohol", but the highlight of these mood swings has to be guest star Wino adding lead vocals and guitar on "Common Cause" -- what a killer track!  From some strange reason I'm getting visions in my head of older-era Monster Magnet as Solace's new disc plays along and that isn't a bad thing, as all Monster Magnet rules!  It's quite possible the tinges of psychedelia peppered throughout are what brought back such memories.  Regardless of influences or what the band has brought to the table, the main thing here is that Solace has served up an album that rocks the foundations of the stoner rock genre and it'll be a while before any other band will be able to take it on.  Stellar in every sense of the word!

 
 
 
 
Pop Culture Press
by Michael Toland - Issue 56, Spring 2003
 
The alternative metal miasma known as stoner rock is kind of like country music: the most skilled practitioners know that the traditional building blocks are still the most solid, though some innovation is needed to keep the style fresh.  On its second album 13, Solace proves itself a master builder.  The New Jersey quartet certainly knows its way around the monolithic riffs that are essential to its heavy rock purview; six-stringer Tommy Southard evokes dinosaurs crossing the desert every time he works his pick, and drummer John Proveaux and bassist Rob Hultz move through the sludge with machete-like precision.  Singer Jason caterwauls like Ozzy Osbourne after way too many battery acid slammers.  But Solace isn't just another Sabbath imitator; it varies its dance with a few new steps.  Southard's solos emulate Eddie Van Halen as much Tony Iommi, and Jason obviously listens to as many hardcore shouters as classic metal wailers (see "In the Oven").  You'd probably find hard rock envelope-pushers like Helmet, Eyehategod, and Clutch in the members' record collections as well.  Plus, despite the graphics on the cover, the band isn't particularly concerned with occult mysteries; it's far too angry and paranoid about its own inner shortcomings to worry about the legions of Lucifer.  Brutal powerhouses like "King Alcohol," "Indolence," and the spectacularly crunching opener "Loving Sickness/Burning Fuel" (perhaps the quintessential Solace tune) never relinquish their stranglehold on melody, even if it's just to keep it still while tying a cement block to its wriggling feet.  "Try" and "Once Around the Sun (Deep Through Time)" lower the intensity a bit, but come across more as the calm before the storm than a change of pace.  The only stumble is "Common Cause," featuring metal god Scott "Wino" Weinrich (The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan) on guitar and vocals, not because it's a bad track -- quite the contrary, in fact -- but simply because Wino's powerful personality easily dominates the proceedings, making it sound more like one of his projects than Solace.  But it's more of a sudden side trip than a wrong direction -- the rest of 13 establishes Solace as one of the best metal bands, over or underground, at work.

 
 
 
 
 
Lollipop
by Brian Varney - #61
 
Three years, several spontaneously-combusting drummers, and a mishap involving a demagnetizer and the master tapes to this album later, Solace are back with a whomping sophomore album, upon which they've instilled the appropriate title 13.  Apparently, the title refers to the number of songs on the album, but it also seems appropriate in light of the horror stories that've surfaced about the making of the album, not to mention the in-band tensions that no doubt only added to the fun.

The early word was that the band had split with lead throat Jason, news which saddened but didn't surprise me.  Internal strife or no, Jason is one of my favorite vocalists around, someone who approaches the power and all-around rock god presence of Chris Cornell at the height of his powers.  However, he's still the singer as of the completion of 13, and the word is that he's already agreed to be on the third record, which, with a bit of luck, will be released by the time I'm eligible for social security.

Still, a good record is a good record, whether it takes two hours or two years to make, and if you enjoy it when it's finished, it was worth the wait.  By this criterion, 13 was worth the wait.  The band's second consecutive masterstroke, 13, though possessed of many of the same qualities which made the debut Further an inarguable success, is an altogether angrier and more aggressive animal.  Face-rippers "Indolence," "Sled Heavy," and "Once Around the Sun (Deep Through Time)," where Jason screams his voice raw, are possessed of an aggression and an animal fury beyond anything presented on the debut.

As a cohesive unit, the band is nearly faultless, giving the impression that they could play for a few hours without so much as a sidewise glance at one another.  Strangling hot riff after hot riff from the strings of his instrument, pausing only now and then to belch forth a tremendous solo or two, guitarist Tommy Southard continues to establish himself as one of the top two or three slingers around at the moment, his playing a fireball of passionate head-slamming.  And I know I've already mentioned Jason, but I'm really glad he's still in the band, as his magnificent, long-hair-and-fire-coming-down-the-mountain vocals are the perfect touch for this band, dousing the already white-hot music with a final splash of gasoline before tossing a match and turning away, the ensuing sound only partially obscuring the sound of his desperate wail.


 
 
 
 
 
Outburn
by Vinnie Apicella - #21
 
EVIL SLOTH ROCK: 13 is Solace's second album and though there's a lot of creepy, crawly subplots going on much of the time, there's a lot of hard and fast to go with the sheer mass, giving them that extra ounce of AC/DC style edge with Corrosion of Conformity's sonic density.  The sound is catchy and pure evil.  "Forever My Queen" is an old Pentagram cover, which naturally has that deep, dark, foreboding quality that'll probably land 'em in court sometime or another in the future.  "Sled Heavy" is a thick quantity of oscillated noise, buried vocals, and twisted blues that can't help but catch your ear before curling up a psychedelic punch that leaves you floored with only the disquieting, downing effect of "Rice Burner" standing over you.  The record also includes an Agnostic Front cover of "With Time" that's given full exposure to the dark cavern of dissonance but with a down broken riff that you'll not soon forget.  If you're into the idea of narcotics, sludge, and doom -- density with a careful blend of Southern drawl, desert crawl, acid trip, and asteroids -- you've got a lot of prototypes to choose from.  A few long winded nappers offset the mostly heavy rock guitar feeds that, all in all, give 13 a transcendence above the usual slow footed shuffle that weighs down the bulk of the stone agers.

7/10


 
 
 
 
 
Aversionline.com
 
Here's another Meteor City act that plays rocked out stoner/doom/sludge/whatever the fuck you want to call it, but has a really unique vocalist that really adds to their shockingly diverse sound. This particular New Jersey band is definitely heavily inspired by the harder/darker side of the 70's, but the vocals are awesome dry, slightly throaty, midrange singing that really stands out a lot. But there is also some forceful shouting and what have you, so nothing is one-sided. These guys damn sure cover a lot of ground in their songs. There are tons of tempo changes, the basslines run around quite a bit, they jump from fuzzed out dual guitar harmonies to faster chord progressions or wah fueled solos, the atmospheres range from calmer and more sinister to energetic and melodic, etc. Hell, there are even some keyboards and harmonica on rare occasions. And the legendary Wino even makes a few guest contributions in the guitar/lyrical departments. They also drop a few covers: Pentagram's "Forever My Queen" and Agnostic Front's "With Time". Needless to say the Agnostic Front track comes as an enormous shock, but damn if they don't offer an interesting spin on it! The recording is pretty damn good. The guitars and bass have awesome textures with a lot of grit and density going on, the drums sound pretty good, and the vocals are mixed in with the music pretty well. There are a few minor gaps in the sound, and something sounds a little bit muffled (perhaps the vocals, I think there's some sort of filter over the singing most of the time) so a brighter high-end kick might help, but this certainly works out just fine for the most part. The layout's okay. I like some of the art but I really don't like the font used within the booklet because it just doesn't fit. But the design on the CD face looks cool, and the front cover I really like. It's totally insane. Part of it is completely apocalyptic (with elements lifted from certain classic paintings), but then you get into the snakes coming out of nipples, the flying vagina hamburger ladies, a huge strawberry, a bird eating a baby. I mean, what the fuck!? The lyrics were omitted for some odd reason, which is a shame, but what can you do? My only complaint with this release is that it's definitely too long for one sitting. With most songs running more than six minutes, even the diversity can get tedious after awhile, and more than an hour's worth of music is just too much to handle in almost any case. So trimming about 20 minutes off of the total running time might have made the disc sit better as a whole, but at the same time. there aren't any bad songs here, just a few that aren't as good as the others (well, "Common Cause" isn't that hot, but whatever). If you're into this stuff, definitely check these guys out. What is it about New Jersey, man? Fuck. there are all sorts of great bands up there.

7/10


 
 
 
 
 
RoughEdge.com
R. Scott Bolton
 
The thing I've always liked about the unfortunately titled genre of stoner music is how heavy it is. It seems to hearken back to the days of early Black Sabbath, when everything about rock'n'roll was hard, heavy guitars.

Solace is really heavy too, but they're more than stoner music. There are several musical genres at play here. Their sound is a thick, almost sludgy sound that pounds at your ears like a jackhammer. It's great. And, by "sludgy," I don't mean murky or unclear. The production on "13" is crisp and clean and powerful. The rhythm guitars are a strong background, while lead riffs leap out of them unencumbered. The excellent vocals are so clear and well-balanced in the mix that you don't need a lyric sheet to understand what's being said.

Of the 13 tracks on "13," eleven are original while two are covers: Track 7 is a pounding cover of Pentagram's "Forever My Queen" while Track 12 is a cover of "With Time" by Agnostic Front. Track 13 is a hidden track, enchantingly entitled "Shit Kisser." (And it's pretty well hidden; coming five minutes and twenty seconds after the end of the 12th track).

Fans of Clutch, Superjoint Ritual and Black Label Society will find something to like about Solace. It's a CD that'll be in my regular listening line-up for some time.

3 1/2 out of 4


 
 
 
 
 
High Bias
Brian Briscoe
 
There's a moment on Led Zeppelin I when Robert Plant begins to sing lyrics from John Lee Hooker's "The Hunter" in the middle of "How Many More Times," and the band sounds exactly as lean and hungry as they are, squeezing their eyes shut and throttling the groove. Solace more often than not brings to mind that same sense of abandon. Anything is possible at any time. 13, their second CD, shows that Solace is master of grande tempo Changes and muy grande riffs. Sometimes the band drops way back into sludge of the earth territory, and sometimes it hits hyperdrive. It's always effective.

"Loving Sickness, Burning Fuel" is built on one of those already satisfying, bottom-feeding riffs before its vertebra-snapping launch into the double-time bridge. And the apocalyptic harmonica fits better than you'd think. "Indolence" opens with grade A beef, spiced with wah wah bursts. This is about the point where you start to think, "Oh yeah, I could listen to a whole bunch of this stuff." "King Alcohol" is nicely layered, with a simple but cool vocal melody. In his upper range, singer Jason sounds like he could lead the band into straight prog rage a la Tool, though they never become that self-conscious.

Need more convincing? "In the Oven" is a full-band workout built on halting riffs and thundering hooks. "Theme..." is a trippy skronk, feedback and echo workout. Theremin may even be buried in there somewhere. And "Toy" opens softly, the way los Natas do sometimes on Corsario Negro. You just wait for fissures of riff to open, and they do, they do. God, these guys have probably never seen a guitar without a humbucker in it, and let's hope they never do.

To summarize: Damn (pronounced with two syllables).


 
 
 
 
Dead Angel
neddal ayad - Issue 56, March 2003
 
This is one of those records that is so good it's depressing. For those of you not familiar with Solace, they are a New Jersey band that play a mixture of doom, rock, punk, and heavy metal. While there are many bands treading similar ground, Solace set themselves apart by filtering out all the bullshit and taking only the best elements of each genre. What this means is that you get a band who are great players without being wankers, who are raw and intense but not sloppy, and whose riffs are thick as molasses but not turgid.

On 13, their second record, they've refined their sound even further. Guitarist Tommy Southard, always a great player, has outdone himself. Riffs fold seamlessly into solos and back into themselves again. Vocalist Jason sounds like he's trying to tear his way through your speakers and the rhythm section of Rob Hultz and John Proveaux pound along mercilessly. Add in a guest shot from Wino (ex-Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, currently of Hidden Hand) on a few songs and you have an almost-perfect record.


 
 
 
 
Quintessence
André
 
I'm a lover of different styles of metal. Now and then I really appreciate well played doom or stoner metal. So I was lucky there was such a record amongst the mass of other promos I've listened to the last few weeks. The album I`m talking about is the latest of Solace. 13 is their second record, besides 2 EP's, as far as I know, and this one rocks! Solace is a band that reminds me of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin on one hand to St. Vitus or Obsessed on the other, but they`re more aggressive in a certain way. That aggression is mainly based in the vocals of Jason (former Glueneck), but he keeps his voice clear and powerful. Most of the songs are driven by the groovy guitar riffs, created by Tommy Southard. His guitarwork make the songs so powerful that I automatically raise the volume of my sound system and let the neighbours hear what great music this is (although I doubt if 65+ people like it). By the way, there is a guest appearance from Mr. Wino on the song Common Cause. He used to be a part of St. Vitus and Obsessed! There are 13 (like the album title) songs on this album, including a hidden one. From those 13 songs there are two covers on it, namely Forever my Queen from Pentagram and With Time from Agnostic Front. What can I say more than this is an album you got to have if you like bands I mentioned before, but also a band like Cathedral. Check it out!

 
 
 
 
Rocknation
 
The band formerly known as Godspeed have finally released their second full length album. Stoner rock to the core, you'll wrap yourself like a blanket in its syrupy distorted riffs, thoughtful guitar solos and luxurious jams--and you'll feel every bit as warm and comfortable. Jason's vocals swirl through it all like a fine morning mist, but resist the temptation to fiddle with your graphic equalizer in order to bring them forward. Covers of Pentagram and Agnostic Front are included, and the legendary Wino of Spirit Caravan and St. Vitus fame guests on Common Cause. The thirteenth track is a hidden one titled Shit Kisser. The Jersey Shore music scene still lives! 

 
 
 
 
White Trash Devil
Jam
 
13 follows the path laid out by the band's previous release, Further. Heavy doom inflected with a modern vocal and lyrical sensibility.

The major difference between 13 and Further is that 13 tends to be more aggressive. Besides having more tracks, the tracks themselves tend to be shorter and more up tempo. (The Further material tended to mix up the tempo more frequently.) That underlying sense of dread and darkness is still here, like in any good heavy music. It's just that here, Jason's lyrics really seem to be more personal than anything else in this style of music.

Tommy Southard's guitar sound is really heavy, tuned way down, and grittier feeling than Wino's. It's closer to Greg Anderson's guitar sound in Goatsnake -- it has a bite to it. This probably explains why I like the band so much, with Southard's guitar sound comparing to two of my favorite guitarists. Hultz backs the bass heavy fuzzy guitar up with a slightly cleaner bass sound. The bass and guitar usually stick together in the rhythm so it sounds like one massively heavy combo. The drums are good and mixed just right. Oh, and there's some kickass harp work on the opener.

It's hard to pick standout tracks on an album where the whole thing shines. The previously released track "Try" has always been a favorite, and the disparate covers of Pentagram and Agnostic Front songs really stick out for me since they seem to mirror my own taste for both Doom and New York style Hardcore. The Wino collaboration "Common Cause" is a classic Wino tune from a dude who just knows what he's doing. Wino's a master craftsman and he somehow fits his distinct style into Solace's style. While it definitely would not be mistaken for a Solace tune, it fits the mood of the album perfectly.

Of the rest I'd say "Once Around the Sun (Deep Through Time)" is my favorite. From the sampled dialogue intro to the barely there ending (the song sort of disintegrates, slowing down into a hum and then silence), this song kicks ass all the way through. This song and "Rice Burner" typify what Solace do better than anyone else. This is dark, heavy music that has a distinct musical signature, powerful melodic vocals and a personal lyrical approach.

There are a lot of bands that sound kind of like this, but nothing sounds exactly like Solace.


 
 
 
 
Indieville.com
Matt Shimmer
 
Whoa Nelly! Stoner rock has always been out there, but Solace is taking it to a whole new galaxy with 13! Explosive solos, absolutely monstrous riffs, and even a bit of harmonica characterize the band's incredible style, and their ravaging vocals and destructive drumming further propel them into stoner rock greatness.

"King Alcohol" sums up their style nicely. Obviously dedicated Sabbath-heads, the four guys responsible for Solace get the track done perfectly; over the course of nearly six minutes, the listener is dropped into a savage world of raucous guitars and throat-busting vocals. Vile, perhaps - demented, probably - but relentless... definitely. When Solace are playing, they don't offer any remorse. The closest you get to a break from the noise is a creepy little movie sample at the start of "Once Around The Sun (Deep Through Time)," which only helps to build the mood before it is blown out of the water by the obligatory onslaught of guitars that follows.

At times, Solace gets a bit more accessible with their style. "Rice Burner" is a fine example of this - they start off in a dark, mysterious mood, and then add in the guitars, all the while keeping things very catchy so as to enthrall listeners of all musical persuasions. Though they still retain a vile, powerful spirit, there's a certain tunefulness present that will get you humming along. As well, its jerky, spasmodic sound is sure to get just about anyone head banging. Shit yeah.

But, I'd have to say my favourite piece is "Loving Sickness / Burning Fuel". Even more accessible than "Rice Burner," the piece starts off in a dense sludge of riffs and wicked choruses. But it reaches its best part once the harmonica is added to the mix. Joyous yet creepy, the harmonica melds perfectly with the monster riffs accompanying it - the result is a wicked solo that's just as good as anything an axe could pull off.

To put it simply, I highly recommend Solace's 13 to both stoner rock fans and those just interested in getting a taste of the genre. They've got one of the freshest sounds the metal scene has ever cultivated, and missing out on it would be doing yourself a great disservice.

Fun Fact: Metal fans will be delighted to find a cover of Pentagram's "Forever My Queen" on this disc, a nice hint as to where Solace's influences lie.

Rating - 90%


 
 
 
 
The Cutting Edge
Todd Smith - Issue 58
 
Regurgitating a fist full of Sabbath riffs and sinister Ozzy-like vocals is the long anticipated Solace 13. Reaching down deep into the fiery depths of Hell, the Jersey quartet pull some amazing bottom-end grooves to drop on this 12-track sophomore platter. Led by bassist Rob Hultz and riff-savvy Tommy Southard the two bring forth a swollen festering which erupts like the devil's inferno. Opening track 'Loving Sickness, Burning Fuel' uses a plodding stomp before the crushing weight of the song's full effect wreaks havoc on the tympanic membrane. A monster dose of harmonica follows the chorus and clears way for some of the most ripping guitar leads this side of the river Styx. 

Formed in 1996, Solace combines the talents of Hultz and Southard, former members of Cathedral and Godspeed respectively. Their recording career started with a split EP with post-grunge metallers Solarized. And later followed with their own EP "Distanced From Reality" before recording their doom-laden full-length debut "Further" in 2000. Following in its footsteps almost three years later, "13" hints at the difficulty getting the project done. Wrought with trials and tribulations, the disc went through a number of incarnations before resting in its final state. 

Former Glueneck vocalist Jason and drummer John Proveaux complete the ring of fire created by Hultz and Southard and devastating is their power. Listen to 'Indolance' and 'Once Around The Sun' for the full effect of sledgehammer doom. Jason's delivery is spot on with conviction and guttural force. Dig his voice and the bludgeoned humor of 'Rice Burner' for a ball roasting slow burner. Sided with the melodic overtone of 'Try', both sides of Solace prove they can work next to each other in creating an anxious pace, full of depth and equally emotional. 

'King Alcohol', 'In The Oven' and 'Sled Heavy' twist through mind-numbing density with the determination of a starved mole. Deep, dark and oh, so heavy is par for the course as each track builds into a blinding, unquenchable fury. Highlighting fifth track, 'Common Cause' is special guest Wino (Spirit Caravan, The Obsessed) who lends his talents to build a Skynyrd-style, ass-kicking rocker. For the song, Southard wrote the original riff and sent it off to Wino who worked out the vocals and guitar then joined the group in the studio to create a masterpiece.

Two covers grace this opus, the heavy-handed 'Forever My Queen' by early '70s Pentagram and the thundering 'With Time' by Agnostic Front. In keeping with the title theme, there is a 13th (hidden) track called 'Shit Kisser.' Encasing the group's triumphant return is the intensely engaging cover art. Created by artist Paul Vismara (www.paulvismara.com), this gorgeous symbolic "Mexican Folk Art" has a dark magic all its own which only adds to the record's Southern California / Kyuss mystic. The brooding illustration in the booklet is equally captivating in a Uriah Heep (1970) sort-of-way.


 
 
 
 
Babysue Music Review
March 2003
 
These guys have been at it for some time now. They began as Godspeed (on the Atlantic label) but later changed their name to Solace in 1997. The band's heavy duty belt-it-out approach is reminiscent of Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. Make no mistake, however, these guys are not retroactive. Their music is relevant and very current. The band consists of Tommy Southard (guitar), Jason (vocals), Rob Hultz (bass), and John Proveaux (drums). While the tunes on 13 most accurately fit within the boundaries of stoner rock, the guys in Solace are actually much more aggressive than your average marijuana plodders. Many of the tunes on this album would be just as likely to please leather punksters as they would the pothead crowd. These guys' strengths lie in mindblowing guitars, a vocalist who rivals Ozzy Osbourne on speed, and a rhythm section that throbs and grinds like your Aunt Sue-Ellen on poppers. Their 1970s influences heavily intact, these guys continue in the grandest of traditions... Top picks: "King Alcohol," "Once Around the Sun (Deep Through Time)," "Forever My Queen," "With Time."

4+++ out of 6


 
 
 
 
Daredevil Records
 
More than two years passed since the debut longplayer "Further" hit the scene like an earthquake. And now Solace are back with another bang! 12 new songs plus one re-recorded track ("Try" from the "Jersey Devils" e.p.) in a different version. The new songs are in part not so complex arranged than on the debut, maybe with the exeption of the opener "Loving sickness/Burning fuel", and more to the point, especially concerning the guitar work. More songs are based on one great guitar-riff ("Indulence", "King alcohol") and this brings the band another big step ahead. Once you have these tunes in your head you won`t forget them, fore sure! This shows, maybe more than other songs, my personal highlight on this CD: "King alcohol". Hell of a monster guitar-riff! I can listen to this song for hours...

Also worth mentioning is the fact that the great master of doom-riffing, Wino, performs guitar and vocals on "Common cause", you will recognize this at once without reading the credits, absolutely great! There are also two coverversions to be found, "Forever my queen" (Pentagram) and "With time" (Agnosic Front), both fit perfect to the whole new material.

I really could point out almost every single song, because there`s definitely no weak track to be found, even after listening to the record for a hundred times, no boring moment!

Though the songs are in part different to the old material, all have the typical Solace trademarks (just listen to "Rice burner" and you know what I mean), and above all Jason`s outstanding awesome vocals.

So folks out there, if you have not come across Solace in the past, don`t miss this fantastic band any longer, buy this masterpiece!!!

Music: 9
Sound: 9


 
 
 
 
Infernal Combustion
Keith Bergman
 
A wiser head than I once wrote, while talking of punk and blues, that bands could create some really great music when freed of �the burden of innovation.� Stoner rock, with its reliance on and worship of the riffs of Sabbath (and of bands like Trouble and Saint Vitus, themselves Sabbath-distilled), certainly seems to work under that guideline as well. The genre's most talked-about bands are often praised for how well they evoke the spirit of their forefathers, not what they're bringing to the table that's new or original. As a result, detractors see little but a sea of clones, and new initiates have a hard time telling bands, much less songs, apart!

But as a drunken Dave Sherman (Earthride, Spirit Caravan) once pontificated from the stage, �it's about the fuckin' tone, man!� Music like this lives or dies on that intangible throb, the brew concocted of warm amps cranked too loud, heartfelt vocals howled from the depths, the chemistry of the musicians in a room locked into a groove, and an organic, unteachable sense of where the rhythm should flow next.

Solace, the east coast doom metal band held in fervent regard by the �SR� scene, would probably be the first to tell you that they're not reinventing the wheel here � shit, the entire opener of �Rice Burner� is ripped offa �Hand of Doom�! And of the twelve songs on here (thirteen counting the hidden track), two are covers (of Pentagram and Agnostic Front) and one a collaboration with stoner rock legend Wino (The Obsessed, Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan), arguably the all-time king of taking well-worn, familiar grooves and making them feel vital.

But the point here isn't originality � because uniqueness and originality are two different things. Solace's mud-thick, warm guitar tone and Jason's conviction-filled vocals make them unique � as in �hey, that's Solace playing!� � even though the game plan here was cribbed from Tony Iommi's blueprints, with notes scrawled in from a dozen other old-school combos (Pentagram included). Solace make themselves essential (because 13 is definitely the first essential doom-rock record of 2003) with moments like that hair-raising opening riff of �King Alcohol,� or the �you gotta be out of your mind!� breakdown in �Rice Burner,� or the wild-eyed chorus of �In the Oven,� and that full stop before the main riff kicks back in for verse two.

Those are the bits that make you look back at the speakers and break into a grin and a �fuck yeah!� just like a blues fan would holler and testify after a scorching solo. It's earthy music, and it's made for the gut, the balls and the soul, not the head. Unfortunately, as long as people still read music reviews, nerds like me are left with the task of inadequately getting that primal oomph onto paper. The point here is, 13 is a visceral, raw, dirt-kicking golem of a record, and you need to get it. It brings the rock.

8/10


 
 
 
 
Illinois Entertainer
Rodney Pawlak, March 2003
 
Solace return from Further, their previous release, with another platter of stoner, psychedelic doom rock.  Hailing from New Jersey, Solace were born from the ashes of Godspeed and Glueneck and have returned to create powerful, heavy music with a groovy edge.  From the opening track, "Loving Sickness/Burning Fuel," you can hear the spirits of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin clearly.  This is in no way a bad thing.  Vocally, you can perhaps feel the inspiration of singers like Chris Cornell from the early Soundgarden years and Dave Wyndorf from Monster Magnet.  For fans of heavy rock, the guitar tone from Tommy Southard is incredible as it shines throughout this fine release.

When writing the initial riff for "Common Cause," Southard was inspired by the writing style of Scott "Wino" Weinrich from St. Vitus/Obsessed fame.  This led to delivering a rough early version of the song to Wino himself, that developed into Wino writing lyrics and guitar parts complete enough to build the entire song out of this inspired riff.  There is continued inspiration on 13 as there are two very cool cover songs: a droning version of Pentagram's "Forever My Queen," and a devastatingly heavy version of the Agnostic Front anthem, "With Time."

8/10


 
 
 
UNRESTRAINED!
A. Bromley
 
There have been very few records I have reviewed for this issue that have hit me square in the face, thus knockin' me on my ass. Solace's sophomore release '13' is one of those albums that clocked me right between the eyes with a meaty slab of Black Sabbath-inspired doom/stoner rock. A tad more aggressive than their past work, Solace has managed to incorporate a real feisty attitude on '13,' dishing out sinister riffs, maniacal fuzzed-out vocals and lots of bottom-end groove. Solace singer Jason does a fine job leading his troops through heavyweights like "Indolence," "Sled Heavy" and the sinister-sounding "King Alcohol" but the highlight of these mood swings has to be guest star Wino adding lead vocals and guitar on "Common Cause"-what a killer track! For some strange reason I am getting visions in my head of older-era Monster Magnet as Solace's new disc plays along and that isn't a bad thing, as all Monster Magnet rules! It's quite possible the tinges of psychedelia peppered throughout are what brought back such memories. Regardless of influences or what the band has brought to the table, the main thing here is that Solace has served up an album that rocks the foundations of the stoner rock genre and it'll be a while before any other band will be able to take it on. Stellar in every sense of the word!

9/10


 
 
 
 
Boston's Weekly Dig
Keith Bergman - Vol. 5, Issue 6 - 2/5/03 to 2/12/03
 
Meaty chunks of riff-osity, grinding bass damage and a singer who actually sounds like he believes the words he sings.  Did I get somebody else's mail?  I wish it were springtime so badly right now.  I'd give anything to be able to walk down by the river on an early evening with a big fat joint, a gut full of Red Bull and this awesome fucking record.  New Joisey bludgeon merchants specializing in the Sabbath zone without a trace of "stoner" posturing or "rawk" bullshit.  If anybody with money, patience and taste wants to set up a Summer tour for these guys, I'm volunteering my services as guitar tech and beverage pimp.  My feet smell but my heart is in the right place and I just want to get the fuck out of this Clever Yuppie College Toilet for a while.  If all else fails, I'll just find a bridge, set up camp and keep insanity away with repeated spins of 13.  Massive Hail and Kill goes out to Solace - Full goddamn horns. 

 
 
 
 
Metal-Observer.com
Joe Florez - February 4, 2003
 
New Jersey's SOLACE whip out their brand of Doom which kicks you square in the nuts. "Loving Sickness-Burning Fuel" is just a whale of a song with its SABBATH inspired riffing, but then take you off into another world with killer guitar solos and a harmonica thrown in for good measure. What a way to kick things off here, right kids?

This CD is simply heavy as FUCK! Listen to "King Alcohol". You will see that it's heavier than hell. The CD is heavy, dark and filled with enough sludge to clog your speakers for a month. Bass god Wino (THE OBSESSED, SPIRIT CARAVAN, ST. VITUS) performs on "Common Cause" and lets it rip on vocals at the same time. SOLACE also manage to squeeze in a PENTAGRAM cover with "Forever My Queen" as well as a cover of AGNOSTIC FRONT's "With Time".

This not Stoner Rock by any means. This is sheer Doom with a bit of groove thrown in for maximum sound. Throw this in and turn the speakers way the fuck up! Make the house rock.


 
 
 
 
Vampire-Magazine.com
 
We are talking about a well balanced production which makes the cream come out of your ears from Solace. Solace, a band formed by Tommy Southard and Rob Hultzof from Godspeed. They released a new album in their typical N.J. shore style. Other bands we know playing this kind of music are Monster Magnet, Nudeswirl and Drag Pack And The Lemmings. I like this kind of music because of the affinity with Black Sabbath and a little touch of Southern Rock. This is all packed in a spacey ambiance. Solace is a band which is still not known very well here in Holland. I don�t know why. �13� their new album is a homage to the early seventies including a cover �Forever My Queen from the doom legend Pentagram�. Diversity is something they are not afraid of. Did you ever thought you can combine hardcore with the N.J. shore style (stoner)? No I didn�t . Listen for example to their interpretation of �With Me� from Agnostic Front they did it on a amazing way. Wino from �Saint Vitus� shows his skills on �Common cause� and gave this track a extra doomy touch. He also contributed on �Indolance� with lead guitar. Jason is a great singer with different kind of faces who can easily chance his intonation in one moment, from hardcore like- to a stoner like voice. He also shows a bit resemblance with Dave Wyndorf from �Monster Magnet�. Tommy (Iommi) Southard plays his guitar on a steamy and groovy way and makes your head spin around. Even after listening �13� three times in a row, I never lost my attention. This group of musicians made an excellent album especially for the ones who like Kyuss, Goat Snake, Monster magnet, Black Sabbath and Nebula. 

 
 
 
AllMusicGuide.com
Charles Spano
 
A heavily demented record layered with monstrous riffs and relentless solos, Solace's 13 sounds as stomach-turning and power hungry as vintage Sabbath. And like early Black Sabbath, there's something earthy and real about Solace � when the harmonica comes in on "Loving Sickness/Burning Fuel," for example, the out-in-the-woods stoner undercurrents rise to the surface. 13 is filled with horror movie gloom ("Once Around the Sun [Deep Through Time]") and a medieval, metal vibe (Pentagram's "Forever My Queen"), but mostly Solace just all-out rocks � like Queens of the Stone Age's East Coast cousins, like the wicked heirs to Soundgarden's throne, like the band that Audioslave wishes it was. With guest guitar and vocals from Wino (Saint Vitus, Obsessed, Spirit Caravan) on the grooving "Common Cause" and even a grinding, spaced-out ambient track ("Theme..."), 13 is a textured, fully realized record that thoroughly explores the dark, dank, and propulsive side of rock & roll.

 
 
 
Legends Magazine
Chris Eissing - No. 130 - February, 2003 
 
Fervently plucking the many fruits that have sprung from the ever-reaching arms of the Black Sabbath family tree, Solace is both a standout of early-90s grunge and a throwback to dark pre-hair metal. Their sound is so Seattle it could only have come from South Jersey, but the thick resemblance to the family ancestry would still make a proud mama and poppa out of Ozzy and Black Sabbath (hey, grunge was the music of the broken home). 13 lives to its cover that comes off as half Hieronymus Bosch, half Mad fold-in.

Loving Sickness/Burning Fuel kicks off the album with all the compliments of Solace's legacy: thick as a revving motorbike guitar riffs doubling a walking bass pulled together with syncopated and off-time drum lines. It pulls back and slams this into 4th gear driving a hard rock beat, vocals that border on hardcore and guitar overlays that punch the gut like the baritone industry of a Harley rev. Throwing in fat distorted harmonica and rounding out with a return to the old. Indolence musically sheds the specter of Sabbath musically, but not vocally. Until the chorus, when it is all punch and post modern lyricism. A standout on the album for punch, tempo and crescendo.

The guitar work on King Alcohol is very reminiscent of Alice in Chains, weaving a dark mood through tonalities that run up and down the loom. This is one of the freshest songs vocally on the mix. In it the singer Jason seems at his most relaxed and in his element and range. It is also the song that is possibly the least resembling Sabbath or Ozzy in sound or style. Once Around the Sun is the perfect song to follow up King Alcohol. The vocals range from forgivably Ozzy, to angst-ridden mantras of the new. These are wonderfully wrapped with a hypnotic repeating riff similar to Jane's Addiction, interspliced with solos as clean as any off Pearl Jam's Ten. Its drops in tempo pulled along by the melody that shifts the guitars from a guttural snarl to a clean edge precisely when needed. 

Common Gauge is textbook hard rock that shakes the Solace's family tree. Riff-driven with a straight-up beat and solos that could have fit on any one of a number of band's songs. The vocals are the cleanest on this, receiving the least effects treatment. In the Ocean takes the harder angst-driven vocals only tasted in other songs and lets them take the forefront. It has a nice lull that doesn't disappoint by slamming back into the song's meat. Very similar to Jane's Addiction in composition trading Perry Ferrel's falsetto for the grinding vocal sounds of a near-scream. The following song, Forever My Queen, seems almost out of place as Solace goes back to the fat sounds of their earliest influences.

Kudos to the engineer, along with the band, for the mastering of Try. The effecting of the sounds that make this up add special element to this track. This is where Solace's influence's meld together to create a unique sound. Not losing the makeup of their forbearer's trademark elements while letting their talents shine through and paint with a wide brush. Sled Heavy and Rice Burner have a great sound and drive with fantastically urgent guitar riffs, similar to contemporary Godsmack. These are tunes Solace should regard as trademarks of their sound. The album rounds out with With Time which growls as heavy as any in the genre with guitars and vocals to match. It is thick and powerful. Hold onto your woofers and take the Hummels off the shelf. The hidden track is a little diddy that dances close to the edge of hardcore, but is more similar to Rob Zombie.

Solace is an excellent melding of old and new. They are heavily influenced by Ozzy and Sabbath and it shows through in nearly all of their songs. Solace was once the same Godspeed that toured with Dio and Sabbath's 90's incarnation, so its sound was not influenced indirectly, but on the same stage. Their sound sometimes comes off as a mix of grunge contemporaries with Live anteing up with the percussion, Alice in Chains and Jane's Addiction lending the guitar sounds, Pearl Jam providing the solos with Ozzy's shadow at times elbowing out experimentation. But who cares. This is one of the slickest hard offerings I've gotten in a long time. Solace lives up to their resume. Drop the headphones. This one needs to be played on a stereo�loud. With its smatterings of old and new, don't be shy to skip to the tracks you like. It does run the gamut of influences in its sound and style, from legacy to contemporary metal.


 
 
 
 
 
Aural Innovations
Jerry Kranitz - #22, January 2003 
 
13 is New Jersey based Solace's follow up to their Further CD from 2000, also on the MeteorCity 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! 


 
 
 
 
Uncle Dan's House of Smut
 
For fans of all things heavy and groove-filled, it has been an excruciating wait on the follow-up to Solace's debut album Further. Mercifully, 2003 kicks off with sweet release for such folks in the form of 13. Album number two proves Solace were worth all the wait and anticipation.

A simple glance at the choice of covers on 13, Pentagram's "Forever My Queen" and Agnostic Front's "With Time," lends a telling insight into the Solace sound. What Solace does would probably be best described as grooved doom with hardcore overtones. There is an obvious Paranoid-era Black Sabbath feel to everything on this album, especially when the vocals are in their normal/relaxed range. In fact, it's probably the doom-leaning tendencies of 13 which save it from slipping into the wasteland of "stoner rock" as the grooves here are very pronounced. The hardcore aspect of the Solace sound comes out when the vocals are screamed. In these moments, the vox puts out a somewhat vintage hardcore feel, never getting extreme enough to push things into the sludge realm. Solace expands their sound even further in spots to incorporate a slightly Southern Rock vibe, thanks to the use of harmonica and slide guitar. Moments such as these should appeal greatly to fans of bands such as COC or Black Label Society. Through all of the elements of their sound, the one constant is, from front to back, Solace are great on 13.

That being said, the more Solace balances their various influences, the better their songs are. Taking this into account, "Once Around The Sun (Deep Through Time)" and "In The Oven" rise as 13's standout cuts. "Once Around The Sun (Deep Through Time)" starts with possibly the most memorable melodic passage of the whole album and ends with the rawest vocal and music treatment 13 has to offer. "In The Oven" takes a slightly different approach in that it has a strong hardcore base due to the way it's written, with very nice stop/start sections and a choppy time signature shift. Then, during the middle of the song, Solace throw in a breakdown which is a tasteful homage to the mighty Sabbath. Solace making it all magically flow together when there probably isn't another band who could do the same. In the end, it's the guest appearance of Wino (Obsessed, Spirit Caravan) that really steals the show, though. In the song he co-wrote with the band, "Common Cause," our hero hops onboard and lays out a track so Obsessed-sounding nobody else could've captained it properly. It was a stroke of genius to have Wino help out on this track and the results speak for themselves.

As with all groove-based bands of worth, Solace benefits from a keen sense of originality. With 13, they've further established themselves not just as a great band but leaders of a genre. The rest of the riffers and groovers definitely have their work cut out for them the rest of this year. Right out of the gate, it feels like Solace have already set 2003's benchmark for this genre with 13.


 
 
 
Walls of Fire webzine
Nicki 
 
"13" is the second full-length album (after the debut "Further") by the New Jersey brutal hard rock (some call this "stoner rock"...) quartet Solace and... Honestly, it absolutely blew my head away!
One of the first surprisingly pleasant impressions erupts through the incredible vocals of Jason (ex-Glueneck), which range from high clean Ozzy-meets-Cornell-singing (have a listen to "Indolence", for example) to mad harsh screaming (like in the brilliant, absolutely brilliant remake of Agnostic Front's "With Time" and the following "hidden" track). As for the music performed by guitarist Tommy Southard and bass player Rob Hultz (both formerly of the no longer existing Godspeed), backed by drummer John Proveaux... Satan almighty... I dare stating this is the best and mightiest breed of brutal, raw, dirty hard rock that has been created during the last decade or so! "13" pours over our innocent heads a 65-minute-long marvellous mixture of smashing riff-dominated melodies influenced by Jimi Hendrix (throw an ear to the opener "Loving Sickness"), Black Sabbath (and that's why the cover version of Pentagram's riff-monster "Forever My Queen" suits the rest of the album perfectly...), Kyuss ("King Alcohol", "Try"), Soundgarden ("In the Oven", "Sled Heavy"), some crazy psychedelia (just have a break with the instrumental interlude "Theme..."), The Obsessed ("Common Cause")... Actually, the legendary Mr. Wino (known for being a part of The Obsessed and Saint Vitus, a.o.) guests with vocals and guitar in this last mentioned track, and plays lead guitar on "Indolence" as well, and... Well, words are totally useless here. Just risk your sanity and listen to Solace...

5/5 stars


 
 
 
Decoy online
Derek 
 
Hailing from New Jersey, Solace comes to us delivering their second full length 13. Some of you may remember them under their previous moniker, Godspeed, but they changed their name to Solace in 1997. They have been together a total of nine years as a band, and have shared the stage with such heavy hitters as Black Sabbath, Dio, and Sugartooth. These bands that they have toured with should give you an idea of what kind of sound they are going for... dark, blues infected metal.

This isn't an effort to limit them to that genre though, because they have much to offer on their own. Whereas most bands that tend to play in the Sabbath style of metal seem to spend too much time trying to sound like their idols, Solace isn't afraid to branch out and modernize this sound. Most of this is thanks in large part to the excellent vocals, ranging from the high pitched, Ozzy sound to screaming that could rival anyone in the business. I can't forget about the other members of the band though. The guitar sound is perfect, with deep blues infected riffs, and the bass and drums fit together for the perfect rhythm section. 

Be sure to check out what I would consider the standout tracks on the album, "Once Around The Sun (Deep Through Time)" which is a brilliant mix reminiscent of Soundgarden mixed with Sugartooth, and "With Time", an Agnostic Front cover which they have definitely made their own. 

9.5 /10


 
 
 
Bully Magazine
Ken Wohlrob - 1.20.03
 
Made up of former members of Godspeed and their friends from various New Jersey outfits, Solace is one of the new crop of bands that are doing their best to break new ground in heavy music and move away from the stoner rock sound that had been so prevalent in the past few years. On 13, these guys tear into it with some really groovy and psychedelic tracks that pack a real punch. 

The opening track "Loving Sickness/Burning Fuel" is as good a blueprint for the band's sound as any of the other 11 songs. The sludgy guitar sound and aggressive playing style of Tommy Southard drive the songs. Bassist Rob Hultz and drummer John Proveaux get right into the pocket, ala Butler and Ward, to lay down a heavy groove. Lead Singer Jason comes howling out of the darkness, with a crisp clean voice that is haunting and soulful (not just another growler like too many vocalists these days.) It is full-bore power rock, with a very doom metal bent, that is both vibrant and potent. Many critics have been comparing them to Sabotage-era Sabbath, but that seems a bit limited. While they pick up some of the groove from that album, the overall tone harkens more to the gloom of Alice In Chains' Dirt or some of Goatsnake's better tracks. 

There's a great mix of songs here, with styles ranging from the laid-back "Common Cause" to the explosive "In the Oven" to the ultra-mellow "Try." The production by Eric Rachel and Southard is superb, capturing the thickness of the guitars and the punch of the drums. Every time Southard slams down the wah pedal on a riff, during "Once Around The Sun," "Sled Heavy," or "King Alcohol," it tears through your skull. Doom/Stoner legend Scott "Wino" Weinrich also makes a guest appearance, playing lead guitar on "Indolence" and singing lead on "Common Cause." They even give a nod to doom-metal pioneers Pentagram with a cover of "Forever My Queen," while also paying tribute to Agnostic Front with a cover of "With Time." 

Overall, it's an explosive album that breaks any genre labels you can slap on it. Best of all, it gets better with each listen.


 
 
 
 
Doom Alive webzine
Nick Muc - Jan 08, 2003
 
It's all about the timing. You all know the feeling. An album comes out, completely out of the blue, but at a time when it's EXACTLY what you want to hear. In this case, the new album by Yank stoners Solace landed with a thud on Doom Alive's doorstep on new years eve. Having endured crap Chrimbo compilations and an overload of nth list celebrities on assorted light entertainment Yuletide specials over the festive period (plus a heated debate on the various merits of Nightwish), a heavy session of drink fuelled partying soundtracked by suitable gnarly sounds was just what the Doctor ordered.

Although some of the riffs sound cheekily like certain Zeppelin and Black Sabbath riffs (particularly if you're a wee bit 'tired and emotional'), "13" is one of the most progressive stoner records of the last few years, matching mega heavy riffage with psychedelic moods and thoughtful structures, while all the time managing to maintain that all important loose jamming sound, it fills every space with ideas, every structure with thought, and every riff with feeling. Quite simply, it's what a good metal album should be.


 
 
 
stonerrockchick.com
Nick Muc - Jan 08, 2003
 
I haven�t heard many bands that can pull off a recording like �Further�. I honestly thought it was gonna be a classic 1 album band, never to be heard from again. Thankfully, not the case, as since that masterpiece they�ve done a split with Solarized and added some wicked contributions to Meteorcity�s �Scene Killer� and now finally, the full-length follow up simply titled �13�. 13 tracks of heavy ass doom drenched rock n� roll with nods to Zeppelin�s �How Many More Times� on �Loving Sickness/Burning Fuel� and Sabbath alike. �King Alcohol� is such an awesome example of the tightness and maturity of this band. Tom�s guitar work is made even more potent by the massive rhythm section of John Proveax and Rob Hulte, achieving new levels in heavy. The bass line alone in �Once around the Sun� will warm up those cold speakers of yours, while the HOF-like tempo switch-ups and hooky solo work will demand your total respect. Wino even gets in on the action with �Common Cause�, a track performed with so much confidence and ease; it is no surprise that this guy brings out the best in everyone he plays with. Also, the droning low-end treatment of Pentagram�s �Forever My Queen� is worth noting, with the guitars having that same fuzzed out heaviness of �In Search of� era Fu Manchu. �13� really flows well and builds up to the eerie stop-start doom of �Rice Burner�, arguably the best track Solace have ever put to tape. Solace haven�t changed their style a bit since �Further�. The songs are still lengthy with lots of solos by Tom Southard, and Jason�s vocals are still top notch on both ends of the spectrum, and crystal clear on this disc, with no sign of wear over the years. The only thing that has changed is their tone, with this disc getting a little bit more evil, and a helluva lot heavier. Bottom line, Meteorcity and Solace have unleashed the first great album of 2003. 

 
 
 
Tangerine Magazine
Glenn Tillman
 
Man, I wish Solace put out something more often. I could use a fresh slab of heaviness like this every six months. Dark and huge, full of enormous power chords and ten ton lead work. Tommy Southard is an absolute stone fret man. This is an incredible stoned rock Sabbath drenched masterpiece. A magna cum laude loud wall of down doom destruction. I hope the rock world realizes what an amazing talent Southard is and what a monster band he has roaring along with him. Songs full of mood heavy dynamics wrap these man size riffs in a godlike downtuned glory. Holy shit this is powerful. Wino himself stamps his seal of approval on this walloping wax with a guest vocal and guitar on a track Tommy wrote that reminded him of Spirit Caravan/St. Vitus/Obsessed. Sonic groove doom supreme. Thirteen tracks (including the hidden gem at the end) of total wicked wonder. Rob and John, bass and drums, lay down a groove as deep as the Panama Canal, while Jason bares his soul with a vocal delivery that out-Cornells the Chris of Soundgarden fame. Once again, MeteorCity has given us a pearl of power, a stunning synthesis of doom and heavy blues rock. A magnificent monument to low end leads and sonic splendor. A full and total bow of humble obeisance goes out to Solace and MeteorCity for definitely getting it right.

 
 
The Electric Basement
Brian Coles
 
One of the brighter spots (pun probably intended, but I'd have to think about it) in the stoner rock zip code, Solace is a raging expansion on Sabbath blasting forth with a tad more psych and aggression than their forefathers. Though the aggression is not dramatic, it is mostly based in the the urgent vocals of Jason (no last name) that add thrust to tracks like "Loving Sickness/Burning Fuel" and "In the Oven". Though he mellows out and rides the wave a la tipsy Ozzy much of the time as well, as in "King Alcohol", the song dragging its piss stained feet through a brick wall. The killer riff however, appears in the form of "Common Cause", a steaming and defiant nugget of guitar fuzz that the rest of the album can rally around. "Forever My Queen" rumbles across the landscape much like Motorhead's "Orgasmatron", thus even slower but just as devastating. Solace has also managed 12 solid tracks where many bands fail to deliver past 8 or 9. This is their best effort and should be yanked off the shelf by fans of Sab, fuzz and doom, cuz it comes damn close.

 
 
 
HellrideMusic.com
Daniel Hodgson
 
So here it is, one week after I received this latest platter o' goodness from the fine folks at MeteorCity and I'm staring out the window, trying to whip up a review that somehow will reflect how killer this album is.

When a person writes a review, readers expect a thorough and detailed explanation of the sounds found on the said album. Usually when a record is mediocre, the adjectives just seem to flow from these fingers. But, for some reason, when an album exceeds all expectations and gets better with each successive listen, the words don't seem to come out as easily. Case in point - Solace's new full-length 13.

Just this past weekend I was in my car, blasting this album and trying to write some sort of review in my head. Sure, terms like awesome, killer and smokin' can get the point across, but it's not the most articulate way of describing an album. But you know what? I don't give a fuck. This album is awesome, killer and smokin'.

It's like Solace took all the elements of heavy music that I hold dear and mashed them up into a nice hash brownie and put it into audio form. Who ever handles quality control at the MeteorCity compound deserves a raise, because I have yet to hear a clunker release from MeteorCity's Jadd and Aaron yet.

Start to finish, this album rocks, pounds and demolishes everything in it's sight. What's there to say about indivdual performances? They all rock. Is that enough for you? Jason's vocals are borderline perfection. This dude can bust out a Pete Stahl-style croon before throwing down the barks like some taxi driver in an anger management class.

Tommy's riffs ripped what was left of my scalp off with his abuse of wah and bottom-end distortion that hearkens to some of Alice In Chains' heavier moments. So yeah, I could have taken the "artsy" route and written some pretentious review, but I doubt most Solace fans hang out in coffee houses and wear berets. This album is a rock/metal bible for 2003 and you can bet your ass they will make some noise in the upcoming year.

So MeteorCity, all I have to ask is, what gem will you bring me for 2004? Last year, they released the album of the year with Orquesta del Desierto and now 2003 has given me 13. Yeah, 2003 may still be in its infancy stage,but it's gonna take a monster album to dethrone this one.

Oh, might I add, their cover of Pentagram's "Forever My Queen" is... um, er... awesome.


 
 
 
Metal Nightmare webzine
Issue 13 
 
About time this came out. Us stoner rockers have just been dying waiting for it. And the advance news that Wino himself contributed guitar and vocals to a song or two didn't make that wait any easier. Suffice to say, I nearly pissed my pants when this arrived. The good news is that all the anticipation was not in vain. This thing rocks. Kick ass stoner grooves with a hint of metal in them. I hope they come around on tour in 2003. This is a band that needs to be heard by as wide an audience as possible.

 
 
 
CHAOS REALM webzine
by Ray Dorsey 
 
I really loved SOLACE's last CD, "Further." It was a cool Sabbathy-doomy affair that made me stand up & take note. But, as with ABDULLAH's massive "Graveyard Poetry," I was not even close to ready for this follow-up. In hearing "13," my first reaction is that as monolithic a year as 2002 has been, it looks like the ol' '03 isn't going to offer any let-up. First we have DIRTY POWER's no-holds-barred hard rock masterpiece for the ages & now we have this text by SOLACE, which may be one of the all-time doom/metal releases I've heard. If you can imagine the dark, oft-misunderstood nastiness of the Sab 4's "Sabotage," then add in the grooves of early Kyuss & mix in a dash of the raw underground perpetuated by Electric Wizard, you'd have a foundation for this. But, it's far more than that. Pure originality then begins to take control with the simultaneously melodic & harrowing vocals of Jason & then the whole thing is just blown into over-the-top Panavision by the incredible and I do mean INCREDIBLE guitar riffs & leads of Tommy Southard. It might be difficult for me to ever say that a person has the potential to be handed down the Royal Sceptre of Iommi, but Tommy's work here suggests he's being groomed by the Prince of Darkness himself. Just listen to "Indolence," "King Alcohol" or the mammoth epic text of "Rice Burner." The leaden gates of hell open and the fires of the demon furnace rage forth as Southard's furious wah-wah riff machine plunder through the listener's head in a way to ravage his or her brain forever. And want to hear something just so mega-cool it'll have you in a doom-laden climax? Dig "Loving Sickness/Burning Fuel." Chugging "Megalomania"-style riffs morph into something grooving beyond nature, then yield to a rhythm ungodly heavy and when the harmonica comes flying in, well, my friends to say the results = ULTRA-CRUSH is the understatement of the year. With an album like this, can there be icing on the cake? Yah, mon! "Common Cause" is co-written by a deity named Wino who also plays guest guitar & lends his legendary vox to it. How 'bout covers of Pentagram's "Forever My Queen" & Agnostic Front's "With Time?!" How f*^#ing cool is that?! Brothers, sisters, this is one serious helluva album. There are so many great albums coming out this year & last, & with this monster truck of a blasting mutha, SOLACE has shown they're right there to pick up the gauntlet anybody's laid down. A mandatory destroyer!!!
 

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