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The New Jersey metal group Solace was formed in 1996 by bassist Rob Hultz and guitarist Tommy Southard, neither of them new to the heavy rock music world. Both were one-time members of the band Cathedral and the metal thrash group known as Godspeed. With the release of only one album, Ride, Godspeed met an early demise, but Southard and Hultz weren't ready to give in. After placing the groundwork for Solace, Hultz and Southard added a singer named Jason to the group, along with drummer Kieth Ackerman. Other drummers have stepped in along the way, such as Matt Gunvordahl and Bill "Bixby" Belford. The group's heavy rock style has been compared to that of Black Sabbath with heavy riffs and relentless guitar solos. In 1997, Solace released its first single for Taste Records, "Bright Side." After signing with Meteor City Records, Solace did a split EP, Jersey Devils, with the post-grunge metal group Solarized. On its own, Solace released another EP, Distanced From Reality, and finally recorded a superb debut album titled Further in 2000. The album is full of heavy doom-type tracks like "Black Unholy Ground," "Man Dog," and "Hungry Mother." ~ Charlotte Dillon


1996 in New Jersey

Years Active:

'90s, '00s