Solace - Call & Response (2012)

Are you a fan of Misery Signals, Your Memorial, or Elitist? If so, you're bound to like the solo project of Karl Schubach (Misery Signals), Solace. His debut album as a lone musician, Call & Response, was released on August 14th. The project began in 2009 and "part of the reason this album [took] so long to come out is the sheer fact that [Karl's] [his] own worst critic".

One of the first things that I thought when listening to Call & Response was "wow, Karl is one talented man!" Every track features multiple great guitar leads or bouncy grooves, immaculate vocals (both screams and the occasional cleans), and solid drumming, even though the drums are created with a software. To think that one man did all of this is quite impressive. It took him a few years to come up with a full-length album, but you can really tell that he put a lot of work into it.

Similar to the problem that I have with bands like Elitist, I lost some of my interest as Solace's Call & Response went along because both instrumentally and vocally, the majority of the tracks seem similar. With that being said, "Naive", "4 8 15 16 23 42", "Our Father", and "Curse Of The Living" are sure to get repeated plays from yours truly because they are strong tracks that stand out from the rest of the album.

Usually I am a sucker for guitar leads, but my favourite part of Call & Response was the lyrics. Some of my favourite lines were "Make peace with this world, for this world is where you're destined to stay" ("Curse Of The Living"), "I've got nothing left to lose" ("Judgment Night"), and "This is an act of betrayal, committed so selfishly/Whoever said the truth would prevail never claimed responsibility" (Naive). Also, I really liked the soundclip on the title track. Coupled with an ambient guitar passage, it served as a beautiful break in the album.

When it's all said and done, Call & Response is a release that Karl should be proud of, but I know that he can do better. I really enjoyed Call & Response for the most part, but this is an album that I don't see myself playing in full too many times in the future because a lot of the songs sounded very similar.

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By Steven Pongrac ~ Me Gusta Reviews



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