November 26, 2019

From The Metal Archives Vol. 8 - Soulseller Records

[When I add labels to the Metal Labels on Bandcamp page I usually scan their releases looking for anything interesting I might have missed. The reviews on The Metal Archives are a great help when doing this: a couple of great reviews
By the reviewers from The Metal Archives.

[When I add labels to the Metal Labels on Bandcamp I usually scan their releases looking for anything interesting I might have missed. The reviews on The Metal Archives are a great help when doing this: a couple of great reviews means an album I should probably check out. With this series I'd like to share some of my finds - in this edition we feature three releases from Soulseller Records, two classics and a hard rocker of recent vintage, but with a soul of the classics.]

Cover art by Lise.

Far detached from the standard aesthetic commonly prevalent in the Black Metal genre, “Written In Waters” largely concentrates on lessons learned from old blues and jazz compositions, presenting such curricular fashioned by principles of avant-garde progressivism. Sorrowful whisperings seep out of the approaching abyssic dimension as minor-key melodies are formed over the pentatonic scale, giving heed to the plight of mankind that is thematically focussed upon. These melodic forays drift across the soundscape, etched in tales of oblivion as they continue to spiral deeper into hopelessness with every riff change. The compositions evolve eloquently, often displaying several dynamic shifts per song, combined with a neo-classical spirit that entails subtle evolutions within. The opener “I Sang With The Swans” is an excellent example of this, starting with a minimalistic melody surrounded by subtle atmospheric drum-beats before slowly progressing and building up to climatic proportions, before settling in back to the original tempo. This is only the first three minutes, before a vocal has even been sung - the start of a recital of epic proportions. [read Thamuz' full review here]

I don't think there were that many new bands and albums, which came out in new millennium of 2000's that made such a big impact on the death metal scene as Repugnant's "Epitome of Darkness" did. Sincerely I think this band and album, together with Daniel Ekeroth's "Swedish death metal" book is responsible for influencing a bunch of youngsters to play this obscure style with passion and style, which haven't been seen since the early 90's! Repugnant and "Epitome of Darkness" probably also directed them to take the image of cult horror movie freaks, with all the empty tombs, zombies and stench of cadaver around it, by writing some cool, horror lyrics and using an adequate front covers (best are hand painted, not a photoshop shit and which include as many corpses and graveyard crosses as possible, as well as some guts and other disgusts). And let's not forget about dressing up in the old school death metal way, possibly with some corpse paint. Arghh, but I'm not going to complain on that - Repugnant did show how a real death metal should sound and look like and if it provoked many youngsters to form their own zombie crews, then why not? I think this band did something not many wanted to do at the time and this is why I praise them! And I they have some followers, then personally I can only be happy about it, as I love such style. [read dismember_marcin's full review here]

Cover art by Joe Petagno.

Erik Sugg's (also active with Lightning Born) eerily wobbling vocals are as groovy as ever while the battery comprised of bassist Paul Walz and drummer Bill Eagen certainly doesn't play second fiddle to Sugg and Larry Burlison's heady, melodic chops and bluesy showmanship, as attested by its dominance on the late 60s/Jefferson Airplane & The Doors sounding title track and all-around solidity, from the opening, triplet based "The Waters and the Wild" to the swinging and twirling Black Sabbath evoking closer "Mourning Son", which halfway in devolves into a super nostalgic, Mountain/Leslie West sounding wind-down. Aside from the liberating pentatonic overtures and Sugg's vocal magic, I think a huge part of Demon Eye's success is Eagan's wicked, old-school style break beat drum fills, patterns and rides as well as Walz's Burke Shelley-ish innovation; indeed, their contributions majestically compliment the catchy guitar riffs and solos in a similar swell manner as Budgie. Orchid or Bedemon, Pentagram's sister band from days of yore. Sometimes they dutifully take over altogether, such as at 02:37 of the urgent yet honky "Vagabond" when Eagan's fat drum & cymbal slams mesh with Walz's broodingly plump bass line prior to Burlison's batty and screwy Church of Misery evoking guitar solo. [read CHAIRTHROWER's full review here]

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