Review Summary: Am I Doomed to Repeat This Cycle Time After Time?
Minnesota based metalcore act In Search of Solace are back with their brand-new sophomore record ‘The Endless Ache’ featuring more of the crisp, chunky heavy music that they’ve established themselves through. After three years of silence following their debut record ‘Enslaved to Tragedy,’ I was beginning to worry that this band had broken up and disappeared but over the last few months, they began rolling out singles in anticipation for this record. I was not disappointed with these promotional tracks because they offered more of what made this band interesting: big riffs, big smacks and chunky, heavy fun.
The first single “Death Follows Me” features heavy vocal chants, a rumbling low end with dense, thick bass rhythms and huge powerful riffs. The song does not deviate far from standard metalcore vitriol lyrically speaking, with a fairly basic screaming pattern to leave listeners with a sense of familiarity. Vocalist Jonny LaDuke’s aggressive vocal stylings are reminiscent in tonal quality to Daniel McWhorter of Gideon fame and Jonathan Vigil of The Ghost Inside with a strong guttural mid-range with slight deviations into lower tones from time to time. The lack of variation vocally on the record proves to be one of its downfalls with LaDuke sticking to his comfortable pocket for a majority of the tracks with only occasional instances of clean singing melodies or even dynamics in terms of the types of screams and patterns he employs.
The second single from the record, “Dead Reflections” proves to be the records strongest song with fast hardcore style rhythms opening the tune eventually breaking into syncopated chunk-downs with grooving kicks matching chugged guitar patterns. The chorus also feels complete with really strong background instrumentals to compliment the mixed screamed and clean melodies. Definitely one of the more standout tracks in a sea of okay, easy to jam to metalcore tunes.
Ultimately, the record starts off strong enough but becomes a bit tired and too familiar once passing the halfway point. The tracks “State of Disorder”, “Uncertain”, and “Oathbreaker” feel like the most standard run-of-the-mill songs with little in terms of substance lyrically or instrumentally. The album does end energetically and interestingly enough with the tracks “Worthless” and “The Endless Ache” offering a bit more variation and containing some stronger lyrical phrasing and riff patterns.
Two positive notes in favor of this record begins with the production quality which stellar from the back. Every instrumental is clear and crisp, the bass drops are booming and vocals standout firmly in the mix without being drowned out. The other big positive is the drumming. As a guitar player, I find myself fixated more with riffs and lead melodies usually, but I found the drumming to be the driving force behind the great moments on here. The quick double bass patterns, the choices made to diversify the tracks creates some interesting moments in mostly uninteresting tracks.
I’m happy to see this band has resumed making music and although this isn’t as interesting as their debut, I did find some solid tracks to add to my playlist and if we’re being honest, it’s just a fun, easy listening metalcore to turn your brain off and headbang to. I hope for a bit more variety in the future because these guys are obviously talented musicians however I don’t feel this record has too much to offer other than just a place-saver for a band that has more to offer.