Instrumental bliss from across the Tasman
If you managed to drag yourself out of the house a few months ago to catch Sydney based heavy rockers Cog on their cross-country jaunt in October, then you will have doubt managed caught New Zealand (Napier) based instrumental act Jakob in support. If on the other hand you missed out on Jakob's incredible performances, all I can say is that you missed out big time, as Solace only compounds the fact.
Having already released two highly respected albums (2001's Subsets Of Sets and 2003's Cale:Drew), it's been a long wait for Jakob (Who comprise of guitarist Jeff Boyle, bassist Maurice Beckett and drummer Jason Johnston) to return with something new, but the wait has been more than worth it.
The gentle and rhythmic Malachite is a slow building introduction to the album that sees the trio build up toward an explosive tail end, all the while maintaining a sense of hypnotic groove with a distinct and memorable catchiness.
The predominately bass driven Pneumonic is far heavier initially (Enhanced with some sampling from H. Walker), but gives way around the middle to allow the guitars to add some atmospheric tones, only to find the trio turn things up towards the crushing finale. Lonesome is one of the more reflective numbers on the album in which the guitars are used for subtle (And at times eerie) tones rather than for anything resembling a riff (Which is aided by producer Dave Holmes, who puts in a guest performance on guitar), while the up-tempo Oran Mor chops and changes from moody lulls to raging feedback.
The single (And first promotional video clip filmed from the album) Safety In Numbers is similar in nature to the album's opening cut with it's ever ascending build on layers of sound, while the epic Everything All Of The Time (Featuring HDU's Tristan Dingemans on guitar and vocals) and the melancholy/delicate Saint are rich tapestries in sound movement, and stand out as the album's strongest moments.
Describing Jakob is no easy task, but if you were to combine elements of Jesu, Pelican, Isis and Neurosis together into an instrumental form, you'll know just how special Jakob really is, and how utterly essential Solace is to your collection.