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Jakob - Solace CD (album) cover

SOLACE

Jakob

Post Rock/Math rock


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4 stars Jakob's Solace, released in 2006 is another excellent instrumental post-rock album with lots of stuff worth hearing. Compared to the previous album, Cale:Drew, this one is much more ambient and more based on soundscapes and atmospheres. The songs aren't as structured; they are more about feelings or moods that take over the songs and and then move them into different directions mostly with build-ups. Although this album is filled with ambience, the songs still have very dynamic sections; A typical song on this album may start with very ambient guitars but slowly you can notice a pattern in the ambience and the song starts to form, and soon the song is dynamic, loud, noisy, angry and very, very dirty. Lonesome is a perfect example of this, but not all songs follow this model, there's variation of course. That's why this album keeps the listener interested throughout the whole 50min. Some songs will start right away with a tight drum beat, but there's always the atmosphere and ambience in the background, always. The album makes you feel as if you were isolated from the real world in this different reality that only leaves space for you and your thoughts and the music. The atmosphere is intense, really.

One thing that this album doesn't have, that for example Cale:Drew has are those moments that gives you the chills you know, that really speak to you, that you really resonate with. Well this is just my subjective opinion, but so is every review, so...

To sum it up, i really recommend this album, and this band overall, if you're into post-rock you'll love this no question about it, if you are wondering what post-rock is all about, you can as well start from here because the song are quite accessible.

Report this review (#239419)
Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
Any Colour You Like
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars In 2006, Jakob released their third studio album, Solace, and marked a further move towards an almost completely ambient style, devoid of any lyrics and 'standard' structures. The first thing that strikes a listener about Solace, is the fact that the music appears to flow with very minimal progression, but slowly morphs into a completely different realm altogether. Unlike Cale:Drew, the mass of black noise that would be apt to explode sometime during the song is pretty much absent, and replaced by a more layered yet no less dynamic progression.

In terms of post-rock, Solace is even more minimalist than Jakob's previous releases, or similar bands like GY!BE. The standout tracks include the proto-typical Jakob opener Malachite, the crisp percussion based grooves of Oran Mor, as well as the ethereal beauty of Everything All of The Time and Saint. Solace suffers a little from a sense of repetition, as any largely ambient piece will, but it at least has evolved its sound from Cale:Drew, both through a more polished production, and better developed soft-loud-soft structure. Instrumentally, Drummer Jason Johnston stands out, providing a solid platform for the development of each track, he is simply brilliant in the way he is able to control the timbre and tempo of each movement. This allows both Jeff Boyle and Maurice Beckett to heavily layer the sound over the course of each track. It is also very impressive that Jakob are able to create such mature and well developed pieces with only 3 members, and still maintain a powerful and full sound.

Solace is an incredible achievement for a Kiwi band, a mature and powerful album that doesn't always rely upon creating an angular mass of noise, but prefers to focus upon creating sweet grooves, ethereal soundscapes and calming moods. As long as you can keep your attention span, Solace is a very rewarding experience.

Report this review (#257356)
Posted Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Solace" is the third studio album from this Post-Rock band out of New Zealand, released in 2006. As the title would suggest they've made a recording here that has a calming affect on the listener overall, and this is certainly true when compared to their first two albums. I really like that album cover as well.

"Malachite" builds from the start with bass and guitars as the drums join in. After 2 1/2 minutes things get louder and surprisingly emotional. It settles back then that emotional section returns after 4 1/2 minutes. It's most powerful a minute later to the end. "Pneumonic" has this heavy distorted sound that pulses as the drums beat early on. A spacey calm arrives before 3 1/2 minutes then it kicks in even harder than before after 4 minutes with distorted guitars playing over top of the powerful pulsating sounds. "Lonesome" has a slow beat with Post-Rock styled guitars off in the distance to start. It gradually builds to an emotional sound after 4 minutes. It then settles right down before 6 minutes and it continues to wind down to the end.

"Oran Mor" has a spacey start as a beat joins in and more. Love the bass here. A distorted wall of guitars arrives 2 minutes in followed by a calm before 3 1/2 minutes. It then rebuilds. "Safety In Numbers" is spacey and laid back as a beat joins in. Guitars come in over top after 2 1/2 minutes. Man this sounds good 4 minutes in as it gets a little louder. A calm a minute later but it's brief as it kicks back in more powerful than ever. It settles back once again this time to the end. "Everything All The Time" has this spacey and drifting sound to it with a slow beat. This is good! It's building after 2 1/2 minutes to a more powerful sound thanks to the guitars. A calm follows before 4 minutes as we get this slow pulsating sound and it's also very spacey. This continues to the end. "Saint" sort f continues where the final 6 plus minutes of the previous track left off. This all reminds me somewhat of "The Sky Moves Sideways" sound. It settles back even more late.

Without question this is an album every Post-Rock fan needs to hear. A solid 4 stars and a very enjoyable listen.

Report this review (#1539022)
Posted Saturday, March 12, 2016 | Review Permalink

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