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Call and Response

Genre- Hardcore, Djent, Metal

Standout Track(s)- Judgement Night, Curse of the Living,

Vist James Donaldson's Profile

Call and Response


Karl Schubach is known for his sanguinary vocal work with Misery Signals, who have had their fair share of downtime over the last two years; prompting him to release CALL AND RESPONSE under the pseudonym SOLACE.

You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve with an 8 string guitar; the lurid djent brattle in abundance throughout CALL AND RESPONSE is one of the most impressive, despite being the most straightforward. Karl keeps his guitar playing simple, only embellishing the occasional riff when it suits the song, making it clear that this is a showcase of his songwriting ability; not his technical prowess.

But is his songwriting pertinent to the release of a solo album? There is no doubt that CALL AND RESPONSE definitely has its moments of greatness, however there are a few issues that make this album fall short ‘excellent’. The bass guitar for example seems to have been omitted from the album except for STOCK(HOME) SYNDROME, where it gives dynamic to one of the beautiful, ambient interludes that are frequent (yet not too frequent) throughout the album.

The best track is by far the closer CURSE OF THE LIVING, opening with that idiosyncratic djent groove then slowing down into a chorus drenched verse, accompanied by the clean vocals Karl first showed us in Misery Signals latest release CONTROLLER. I know the focal point of this album is Karl’s guttural yet concise screaming, however I would have like to hear more of said clean vocals; if only to make the chorus’ really stand out.

With religious and apocalyptic undertones CALL AND RESPONSE was always going to be leaning toward the more melodic side of ‘core’ music, yet there are just too many beatdowns to constitute giving this album any kind of meaning at all. Then again I loved the Lost reference (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42), and the drum programming is so precise, you will forget it is a drum machine at all.

Not a bad first attempt at a solo album from Karl Schubach, most hardcore fans will find this album enjoyable. I would however advise Misery Signals fans to wait for their new release, as it will no doubt incorporate all the good things from CALL AND RESPONSE, with the edge of having four inputs as opposed to one.

-James Donaldson


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