Review Summary: A long, lonesome walk on a foggy morning.
Fog. There’s always that eerie feeling you get when walking through it. What creates this uncanny aura within the mind? Perhaps it’s the metaphorical meaning of not being able to find your path though the burden. Maybe it’s the expansiveness of the blanket, how it seems to go on forever. Maybe it’s the unbearable silence, which you can hear so clearly that it becomes chilling. Or maybe it’s none of those things. Maybe the feeling of loneliness, the sense of purpose you feel walking through the acres of fog, brings solace instead of discomfort. Perhaps it brings about a spirit of pensiveness, the ability to simply ponder upon these thoughts in peace and solitude. Now, try to imagine that feeling in an auditory form. What band could create such a soundscape? Behold South England post hardcore band Acres. With their second EP, Solace
, Acres manage to combine largely atmospheric elements with their traditional post hardcore sound, and yield surprisingly solid results.
Turn towards the production side of things, and you’ll discover that the mixing is done extremely well. Nothing feels too loud or out of place, and even the softest parts of the songs are fully audible. The guitar work is also well done, with the more melodic and acoustic riffs managing to create a wonderful atmosphere along the more simplistic chugging riffs and tortured vocals. And speaking of vocals, the pained and melancholic screams on the EP provide a stark contrast to the more mellow moments, as well as help bring a fiery and emotional passion to the music. The drums assist in the buildup of tracks such as “Peninsula” and “The Tallest of Mountains”, and provide steadfast support throughout the other songs. At only about 24 minutes and five tracks long, Solace
is never a drag, and you’ll be too invested in the music to even notice how abruptly it ends.
But most of all, Acres manage to embrace the mantra of “simplicity is virtue” to their advantage. The music isn’t by any means rhythmically complex, and the songs are pretty short. The lyrics aren’t anything you haven’t read before, and the leads are pretty basic, even for the genre. And yet, it works
. Because for everything they lack mechanically, Acres make up with the drive their music has emotionally. From the droning of the guitars to the ambient noise at the end of “Distant Hills”, the atmosphere built by the band manages to come together and create an aural spectacle. The only real negative on the album is the lack of variety in the vocals, but even then, the vocals are only used during the appropriate times and places within the songs, helping to reinforce the highly structured approach.
Fog. There’s always that strange sensation you feel walking through it. But in the end, after it’s all cleared up, there’s that feeling of relief. The realization that in spite of the blinding hazes once obstructing your path, clarity and direction have risen in front of you regardless. And that even though the experience was somewhat discomforting, you wouldn’t change it around, even if you could. That’s exactly the way Solace
feels: It’ll initially give you some chills and feel unclear, but in the end, you’ll feel better for having gone through it.