You could be forgiven to think that being a predominantly metal and heavy rock website (hence the name, duh!) we would completely and without question limit ourselves to reviewing only that type of music. Well, a good thing is a good thing. Or sometimes, like now, a good thing is an absolute gem of an album.
The Answer are not unknown to the metal and heavy rock community, primarily because of appearances supporting AC/DC and also at big summer festivals such as Wacken Open Air, known to be predominantly a metal festival. In that respect they’re very much like Rival Sons and Blues Pills, though musically there is not much similarity. I’ve cherry-picked my highlights but there are quite a lot of cherries.
Opening the album with the title track, ‘Solas’, the feel is immediately dark. Ironic, then, to think that ‘Solas’ is the Gaelic word for ‘light’. However, the lyrics speak about the prominence of dark and the desperate attempt to escape from it. I don’t know whether they had the Zeppelin classic ‘Kashmir’ in mind when they wrote it, but the guitar tones and monotonous, eerie drumming were perfectly placed to suit the dark tones of the song, which follows on in to ‘Beautiful World’. Certainly the heaviest and most vocally impressive track on the entire album.
The album has a lot of fluctuation from track to track. Deep, seedy, dark and bluesy feel of ‘Being Begotten’, and the alternative very angst-style ‘Untrue Colour’. They could not be more apart from each other. Imagine Curtis Stigers in the former and Smashing Pumpkins in the latter. Both are fantastic and I feel sure will be fan favorites.
‘Thief Of Light’ has a beautiful Irish folk feel that wouldn’t be out of place with Luke Kelly on vocals. It’s quite captivating. I was thinking that ‘Battle Cry’ might have a heavy feel but that’s because I’m a power metal fan and I forgot that this isn’t a metal band for a second. Great vocals in the big hitting chorus which has a distinctive Irish feel, largely because of the use of Gaelic of course, but also very much instrumentally. Great acoustic work.
‘Left Me Standing’ is a change of pace and a feel more akin to some of the new wave of punk -no, not that crap that came over from the states in the 90s – better than that. Much more thought went in to this. It’s more agitated but not like the original ‘screaming in your face’ punk style.
This is a most impressive album which The Answer will be touring in support of next month around the UK.
We rate our albums with devil heads out of ten. Since you guys aren’t metal, I hope that’s ok. I didn’t have any harps.
2: Beautiful World
3: Battle Cry
4: Untrue Colour
5: In This Land
6: Thief Of Light
7: Being Begotten
8: Left Me Standing
9: Demon Driven Man
10: Real Life Dreamers
Playing Time: 49:12
Release date: 28/10/16
Label: Napalm Records