Saturday, September 8, 2012

Album Review: Solace - Call & Response

Rating: A-
The disbanding of Misery Signals took a huge toll on the hardcore scene and fans alike.  With the release of Mirrors, they raised the bar of what should be expected in a quality hardcore album, and then exceeded those expectations with Controler.  Every chord progression, melodic interlude and breakdown were meticulously placed, and well deserving of all of the appreciation they received during their time together.  Fortunately though, vocalist Karl Schubach hasn't thrown in the towel yet.  With Misery Signals no longer together, he's taken it upon himself to write and record a solo album under the name Solace, which is just as amazing as his former band, if not better.

Undoubtedly there will be comparisons between Misery Signals and Solace.  Both share similar qualities in their brand of hardcore, but only on the surface.  The more you listen to Solace's Call & Response, the subtle differences become more apparent, as well as the growth that Schubach has undergone over the past couple of years.

"Trinity" opens the album in a way that all Misery Signals fans should expect, but it's with the next track, "Naive" that will catch listeners a little by surprise.  Solace is far more persistent with the use of breakdowns, which are demolishing, and impressively off-time.  This adds to the relentless intensity of the album, incorporating diminished chords and a penchant for single-note breakdowns, as heard on "Judgement Night."  Possibly the most notable difference, however, is on "Dead Man's Curve," where there's a slight sense of swagger in the chord progressions.  It's subtle signs of progression like this that should prove to listener this is more that a Misery Signals pt. II, and something else entirely on its own.

Possibly the most compelling aspect of Call & Response, however, are Schubach's lyrics.  His ability to write brutally honest and thought-provoking songs has only gotten stronger over time.  All throughout the album, he delves into territory that is existential to say the least, adding to the overall impact of the album on an emotional level.  There isn't even a point in singling out any songs because every one of them has this quality, and it's one that should never go without recognition.

There is a limited run of 1,000 copies of Call & Response available for purchase.  And believe me, this is not an album you want to sleep on.  Alongside Every Time I Die, The Chariot etc., this is a definite contender for hardcore album of the year.  It never ceases to be an amazing thing when an album of this quality comes around, especially when it's at the hands of a single person.

Stream/purchase the album here.


1. Trinity
2. Naive
3. 4 8 15 16 23 42
4. Our Father
5. Dead Man's Curve
6. Judgement Night
7. Call & Response
8. Stockholm Syndr(h)ome
9. CPM
10. Curse of the Living

1 comment:

  1. Misery Signals didn't disband. They posted a video of them demoing new tracks about three weeks ago...