Asbury Park, New Jersey NWOBHM-infused stoner doom slayers Solace may not have the market cornered on hard luck, but they’ve sure as Hell had their share — and then some: The press release presently in front of me notes that various members “battled personal and psychological demons” in the wake of 2010’s excellent A.D., the official Facebook page lists “staying out of prison” under “band interests,” and the quintet’s Wikipedia page includes a not insubstantial section titled “Bad Luck” which begins “From early in their career, Solace has been faced with almost mysterious problems…”
Well, you know what they say about pressure and diamonds, right?
Enter the vivifying, next level opus The Brink — a veritable miracle release not only in the sense that we’re being gifted with a new Solace record in the waning days of the year of our lord two-thousand nineteen, but also that this thing is such a scorching, brilliant piece of work.
“The new incarnation of this band started with the sole purpose of filling the ranks to record a track for a tribute comp and nothing more,” singer/keyboardist Justin Goins tells Decibel. “We were satisfied enough with the results that we thought we might as well try our hand at recording some original music, but there were no expectations beyond testing the waters. A cover song is one thing, but to write new music with three out of five new band members standing in the rubble of what had come before was daunting.Once we were convinced that we could work together and create songs that were true to Solace’s sound while pushing that sound further, the idea of a new album began to seem like a real possibility.”
“I’ve been at this a long time,” founder/guitarist Tommy Southard adds. “My first gig was in 1980, so this shit is nothing new to me. I’ve faced a lot of adversity since starting this band in 1996, and after all the trials and tribulations, this is without a doubt the best feeling I’ve had about a SOLACE record. A lot of people thought us dead, so to do this thing and have people in the band who feel the same way I do means everything! Now and for the future, I can assure you that as long as we all stay alive, it will not be another nine years for another record. We are back from the brink!”
Check out an exclusive full stream of the album, which can be preordered via Blues Funeral, below.
“When we started writing The Brink there were no preconceived notions of how it should sound or what overall theme we were going for,” Goins says. “The songs were the songs and they would not be steered in any particular direction. Once we looked at the totality of it, there was a distinct and completely organic maritime influence to the riffs, an artifact of having grown up on the Jersey shore. The title The Brink was informed by that same spirit. The brink of any endeavor is either the threshold of progression and change, or the very edge of destruction and ruin. That’s Solace at its core…a song in storm.”