In Search Of Solace – Enslaved to Tragedy review

Contrast, with control and contemplation 8/10

Formed in 2014, Minnesota metalcore masters In Search of Solace have progressed from their independent releases to signing with Sharptone Records and blasting away any doubters in a very short period of time. This is the quartets’ third full length release and it captures the exuberance and energy of an act with true integrity. With a pervading existential theme and a belief that Heavy music should address even heavier themes; Enslaved To Tragedy does not disappoint.

“The title tells the story of how artists—and all people alike—almost have a craving for tragic events in order to be inspired. It importantly asks, ‘Do we need tragedy to survive?’”

Jonny LaDuke, vocals

This is the first time the band has embraced an external producer, Ryan Leitru [For Today, Nothing Left] with a schedule of two weeks for nearly ten hours a day, they recorded the album. The band “had never received that level of input from an outside ear before” and the enhancement has elevated their output.

The sound is sleeker, the rap elements absent and in all it is a varied tapestry of modern metalcore threads

Commencing with Culture Shock with its easly accessible and melodic introduction which swiftly hits a change in dynamic as the pained vocals of LaDuke enter. The disjointed percussive edge, the unrelenting call and response vocals of LaDuke and Pocock (guitar) contrasting screams and cleans with an industrial edge is a great introduction and opening track. Losing Touch comes in tougher, with a syncopated stomp and a melancholic, progressive metal edge. Both voices and instrumentation ring out in an incredibly clever track, sparse in notes but not in impact.
Deathwish was the firsts track to be released prior to the album, an intense groove orientated pained and brutal exploration of desperation.

“It came about as a narrative for someone who’s dealing with addiction and what kind of turmoil they might be going through. It was inspired by the unfortunate passing of a dear friend from an overdose.”

Deathwish can be checked out here

With a disturbing wail, the thrashier Force Fed hints towards a disconcerting darkness- ‘that you are your own worst enemy.’ Close your eyes and sniff that inevitable pit!
Survive is the latest release from Enslaved To Tragedy and “illustrates the journey of the reclusive mind dealing with the irrational thoughts of being an outcast of society. As well as the struggle of battling through one’s false perceptions to survive in a world of chaotic misfortunes.” Bombastic with a djenty bounce there is an interesting and thoughtful tale behind this number:

“At first, it was written to tell the story of a guy trapped in the desert. As the creative process went on, it turned into a metaphor of being trapped inside one’s mind and dealing with disillusions in this person’s head.”

The aggression picks up for the percussively driven Left to Dust which contrasts impressively with the ambience of Silent Voices and its epic and lighters aloft euphoric chorus.
Vacancy shifts into a more hardcore and thrash base, while retaining clarity and a modern metalcore theme. Path to Destruction, the second single release and album closer brings our enslavement to tragedy to its end. LaDuke has stated “We felt compelled to bring forth a song that touched base on our discomfort with the chaos around us. A world that feels out of sync and far from where we believe we could be as a society.“
Capturing an energy, without falling into despair These walls are still closing in… It’s a banger of a track and a reflection of the current state of the world.

Somewhat more experimental than previous releases, with an overarching tint of menace In Search of Solace are hitting their stride.

Enslaved to Tragedy is available to order now, here

1. Culture Shock
2. Losing Touch
3. Deathwish
4. Force Fed
5. Survive
6. Left to Dust
7. Silent Voices
8. Vacancy
9. Path to Destruction

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