Soldiers of Solace is an original, hard hitting, US heavy rock band, signed with German label Rock’N’Growl Records. Since they formed in 2016, the band has shared the stage with acts such as Nonpoint, Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed) and Scott Stapp (Creed). They're described as having poignant lyrical content, driving riffs, thundering beats, and powerful live performances, and Soldiers of Solace are quickly making their mark on the international music scene, gaining fans worldwide.
The album bursts forth with ‘Rude Awakening’ - a track which grabs you by the throat and squeezes ever so slightly in a warning that there's more to come. The bass vibrates in your chest - the only other time I've felt this is seeing Billy Sheehan live - and the vocal is a sexy and ever so slightly terrifying growl. This track is serious and demanding hard rock, with a slender retro-edge the likes of which would fit the Lost Boys soundtrack so well. The title track, ‘We Are Immortal’, still has that gruff but tuneful vocal but is a little heavier. The guitar forces me to headbang in time and I love the message; “We are the masters of our own fate”. Another banging track. ‘Cold As Stone’ allows us to glance beneath the hard and heavy exterior; with a bluesy edge and an acoustic guitar, this is a slower tempo track with a mellow chilled-out intro and a deep, baritone/bass vocal, rich and dramatic in weight. The instruments are understated to allow the vocal to shine through, emotional, moody and steamy.
‘Naked Truth’ is another melodic track, with a brooding intro, meaningful lyrics and a catchy chorus, a song which reminds me of Metallica. “I don’t need you to like me” - tough, I kinda do! “All I want is your respect” - done, my friend. The oration at 2:25 is a nice touch, and followed by an elegant guitar solo and pulsing drum beat. This is one my favourites on the album and grows on me more with each listen.
‘Walk Tall’ is another track to watch out for, again with a Metallica sound, a booming bass and the most melodic vocal so far in the album. The song is a story, Longo delivering the narrative in his inimitable bottomless vocal with a few “Woah”s thrown in for good measure. At around 2-minutes there is a tempo surge led by an impressive lead guitar and joined by more impassioned vocals, which slows again before building like a wave. I love this song.
For me, the most striking thing about the album so far is Longo's voice, but this is just personal taste as I love a deep vocal, and the instrumentals are all excellent - some great guitar work and a very strong rhythm section of a quality you don’t often see. ‘Circus Clown’ highlights the powerful rhythm section well, a slower tempo track where I can feel the vocals in my bones - earthy, organic and deliciously moody. At 2:32 there is a sizzling guitar solo - another love of mine - which has me armed with air-guitar. Changing tack slightly, with a southern flair, ‘Washed In Flames’ is a very different sound, showing a new dimension and a clever mix of styles. This is the most ballad-like track, beautiful and strong, and in my mind Jason Mamoa is the lead actor in the video… The lyrics aren't mildewed or cliched, more original and relevant. I would maybe have shaved a little off the length though.
‘Dear John’ sees a return of that growling, ferocious vocal - roaring throughout this 3 minute 49 second storm, with the lead guitar as the lightning at 2:32. This is the heaviest track on the album, black metal and proud, a little heavier than my usual taste but undeniably a great track. ‘Freedom's Children’ has a punchy vocal again conveying a narrative, though this is my least favourite track; it feels like a weaker re-interpretation of Civil War (GnR) complete with media clip-like slices. There is, however, a stunning guitar solo which breaks up this 6-minute track. The final track, ‘Hannah’, is a slow burning southern rock song which clearly illustrates that this band have depth and latitude; a bewitching and statuesque song with passion, empathy, warmth and regret. This is a different style, almost sounding like a different band, reminiscent of hot, dusty summers in the deep south, with a lovely acoustic guitar and a few more “Woah”s.
Apparently, when they started out they only had three original songs and played covers for the rest of their set in bars and open mic nights to small crowds. A few years later and Soldiers of Solace could easily open the mainstage for any of today's big rock headliners, and rock that crowd the fuck out.
The album is a blistering, powerful and fulfilling journey, bad-ass, richly textured and compelling. This is one of the best albums from an upcoming artist that I have had the pleasure to listen to. If you live for Metallica, Disturbed, Shinedown and 5FDP, you need this is your life.
We Are Immortal
Cold As Stone
Washed In Flames
Jason Longo - Vocals
Ron Therrien - Bass guitar
Luis Cubille - Rhythm guitar
Jeff Fahy - Lead guitar
Francesco Daniele - Drums