Solace Further

While I was not a big fan of this New Jersey based band's first release (a split with another NJ band, Solarized), there is something very appealing about their full-length follow-up. Led by the slash and burn guitar heroics of former Godspeed axe-man Tommy Southard, Solace is right on the border in separating metal from fuzzy stoner rock. The songs are a little on the long side (more than half drift over the eight-minute mark), but they manage to do so without getting too ridiculous in either style or subject. Standout track for me has to be "Angels Dreaming." While the sampled storm in the background makes on think of the classic track that Black Sabbath is named for, the band head off in their own direction and create a slow-burning mini-epic somewhat reminiscent of latter day My Dying Bride. (Meteorcity)