(9/10) The Answer is one of the bands that contributed a lot to the boom of classic rock, a trend that started a few years ago and still lives. The guys built-up a more than solid fan base and released great albums in the past. But the band needed to find their way through some storms waters too; something that influenced the new album very much.
The bands new longpayer, "Solas", begins with the title track, a song that is one of the best ones on the entire album. The tunes comes with a very steady beat that gives "Solas" an almost hypnotic expression. Partly I was even reminded of U2 even though the track can't be really compared with Bono & Co.. After having heard this tune it's hard to let loose since it puts a spell on you. With hav9ing such a start it's a hard cookie to continue on this level. But no worries, The Answer delivers, even though the title track stays in another league.
The longplayer features in total 10 new tracks of which the silent "Thief of Light" was already presented on the last tour, when the guys from Ireland opened for the mighty Whitesnake.
The band captured some more soulful moments on "Solas". "Beautiful World" is one of them, a songs that comes with a very relaxed verse before things turn into rock during the chorus sections. Or listen to the half-acoustic "In This Land", another touching highlight that shifts classic rock into the new century.
These very touching moments in "Solas" aren't a surprise knowing that singer Cormac Neeson went through a tough period of darkness. His first son arrive three month premature with four months being in hospital fighting for his life. In that sense "Solas", the Gaelic word for 'light', acted as a kind of catalyst which made the album to a very touching one.
In case you got the impression so far that "Solas" is a silent album I can give you an all-clear signal. There are a lot of Irish rockers on this album that act as a well done counterpart to the before mentioned tracks. "Beautiful World" belongs to them and very cool "Demon Driven Devil" is another one.
"Tunnel" is the last song on "Solas" and belongs together with the opener to the best rock songs I have heard since quite a while. The number comes with a lot of Led Zeppelin included. It's a half-acoustic song that includes a gently singing Hammond and a lot of "Stairway to Heaven" without being a simple copy at all.
"Solas" became the most mature The Answer record, showing the band on a next level. It's containing impressive music that's framed by an awesome opener and a moving closer. This is music that was written to last.
- Beautiful World
- Battle Cry
- Untrue Colour
- In This Land
- Thief of Light
- Being Begotten
- Left Me Standing
- Demon Driven Man
- Real Life Dreamers
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Classic Rock
Release Date EU: October 28th, 2016