Drift Away immediately places listeners in a rainy night somewhere urban, with a harmony created from the interaction of the different elements. There is a deliberate story being told here, with a guitar representing the narrator. Tolar is able to break free of the domination of vocals and creates something that is as rich and fulfilling as any lyric-heavy artist.
Shattered Sky is a track that could easily be on rock radio rotation, as Tolar blends together Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, Muse, and Placebo into something that is darkly emotive and fulfilling. The different elements – vocals, drums, and piano – unite into a hard-hitting track that will tattoo its melodies deep into the minds and hearts of listeners.
Surrounding Darkness has a sizzling guitar line that is weaved through intricate drum lines, taking listeners to a wholly new plateau. The cut pulls from the progressive metal genre to create something that can speak to a wide array of listeners. Surrounding Darkness utilizes a dichotomy between virtuosic guitar riffs and a deeper, darker piano line that plays at the bottom of the composition.
The album concludes with the eponymous track, an effort that stretches out over ten minutes. The different movements that Tolar establishes here are miles apart from one another, but the sheer skill of this performer makes the track immersive rather than unwieldy. Rather than being a microcosm of the styles and approaches that have been broached during the rest of the album, The Continuum is a bold new journey that touches upon Genesis, New Order, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
For more information about J.S. Tolar, make it a point to visit his domain at jstolar.com .
Top Tracks: Drift Away, Shattered Sky, Breaking Sleep
J.S. Tolar The Continuum CD Review