Rezn - Solace review
|Release date:||March 2023|
01. Allured By Feverish Visions
05. Faded And Fleeting
06. Webbed Roots
It’s not universally true, but the general consensus is that great album artwork is a good indicator of album quality. Rezn’s Solace is the latest record to support that hypothesis.
Much like At The Altar Of The Horned God, whose newest record I reviewed but a few days ago, Rezn released an album in 2020 that received a fond review from Apothecary, and I again step in to check in on how they’ve progressed since. Unlike At The Altar, who are dabbling with a relatively novel sound, Rezn are fairly conventional within the stoner metal genre; however, as Apothecary stated in the review of Chaotic Divine, Rezn impress not because they’re doing something new well, but because they’re doing something old better. Not only is that still the case here, but they’re now doing something old even better than they were on Chaotic Divine.
Even by saying that Rezn are a broadly conventional stoner metal band, there’s still a whole bunch of ways in which their sound could differ while still remaining conventional. Chaotic Divine opted to include more than one of these ways, featuring mellow jams, dense doomy riffs and more up-tempo groovy rocking out, with a splash or two of saxophone thrown in; Solace arguably has less range, but benefits from a consolidated approach. The mellow, atmospheric psychedelia is arguably even more pronounced this time around; not only is “Allured By Feverish Visions” almost entirely dedicated to the gradual intensifying of quiet, spacious sounds in preparation for louder music to come, but even when “Possession” does offer some more voluminous doom material, it takes a while to reach it.
“Allured By Feverish Visions” owes more than a small amount of its DNA to drone doom bands such as Bong, not to mention psychedelic acts in the way that flutes and keyboard dance around the persistently sedate drums and slowly crashing waves of distorted guitar drones. While “Possession” does have a similar level of intensity to the song it follows, its dynamics, groove and rhythms arguably owe something to post-rock and post-metal; Rezn aren’t quite reaching the levels of Somali Yacht Club or Methadone Skies in spilling over into those genres, there’s something to the ebb and flow of this track that reminds me of later-era Isis, even if its light, tender vocal style is never going to be mistaken with Aaron Turner’s roars.
This opening one-two is such a rich, lush introduction to Solace that promises at plenty more good to come, and thankfully Rezn deliver; even as they veer away from the stable current flowing through this pair of songs, they remain compelling. The middle pair of tracks are the heaviest on the album, featuring some dense, lurching stoner doom riffs, but even then there’s arguably more of “Reversal” that’s dedicated to psychedelic jamming. “Stasis” also isn’t immune to such tangents, but does stick more resolutely to an extremely Windhand-esque core sound.
What these two songs have in common with the first duo is a consistency in tempo; for the largest part, Rezn opt against any real surges in speed. The only real exception to this comes on the closing song “Webbed Roots”; however, the speed, when it does come (ushered in by a guest spoken word appearance from Marie Davidson), isn’t swinging groove like “Scarab” from Chaotic Divine, but a brief flurry of blasting on the drums. It’s a surprising moment, not least because the guitars accompanying it still remain pretty muted, but it’s a nice way to emphasize the climax of the record.
Solace is a thoroughly accomplished exploration of drone, doom and psychedelic avenues within a potently atmospheric stoner metal framework. Both Chaotic Divine and Solace portray epic landscapes on their album covers, and each album conjures soundscapes to match the scale of those settings, even without having to regularly resort to pure volume in order to capture that immensity.
||Written on 08.03.2023 by|
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