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Agnes Vein - Soulship Award winner

Agnes Vein
Soulship
by Vasilis Odontidis at 02 September 2013, 6:03 PM

Amongst the shades of darkness, straight from the void of chaos a ship is rising intimidating and threatening. AGNES VEIN the trio from Thessaloniki, Greece through their unique Doom / Black Metal defines this distant and eerie vision, a bleak image from the darkest depths of the soul. “Soulship” is their second creation that comes three years after their debut album “Duality”. I was aware of the band as I have seen them as a support band to a ROTTING CHRIST concert but at that time I was not familiar with their material and in general I was not in the mood for their kind of music. However, I was still curious about them and I was willing to give the band a chance especially after I saw that their sophomore album was available.

Indeed from the first seconds of the album’s opener “Δι αυγής - To Know the God Within”, frozen and haunting riffs form into the harbingers of doom, the prelude of the things that will come. Guitar disharmonies and clean elegiac vocals evolve into darkened riffs and black vocals. The tempo is slow, strict and haunting in the longest song of the record that clocks 13 minutes. In the next song the tempo gets faster (for Doomish standards) and heavy bass lines pave the way for the “March of the Netherworld”. Probably the best song of the record, dark, sinister and epic in the same time. “Chaos Cauldron” is the first very small song of the album where blast beats for the first time appear as defining forms in the infrastructure. Clean and black vocals emerge from this cauldron of chaos. The homonymous song of the record, “Soulship”, is reliving that haunting vision of darkness so abstract and yet so real. Just a glimpse of the albums cover adds to the visualized image with this unidentified live texture of unknown origin (maybe elephant’s skin? I can’t tell). The album gets way heavier in the end last two songs of the album “Eventus” and “Bloodfiend” are way more aggressive and malevolent with major parts of blast beats and blackened growls (meaning it’s pure Black Metal).

“Soulship” is a difficult record that requires the proper conditions and the proper mood from the listener to grow on him / her. AGNES VEIN music is a blend of Doom Metal with some slight epic metal elements but mostly with a fair dose of Black Metal that as a sound is quite unique. The album has only six songs and less than forty minutes long duration. However it is a complete effort with all songs that are part of the bleak vision of “Soulship”. The three members of AGNES VEIN have a distinct yet crucial role in the performance of the songs. The drums forge the rhythm and the bass the thunderous beat under which waves of cleverly played guitar riffs are deployed. As a matter of fact the musicianship of “Soulship” is quite simplistic yet everything appears to be in the right proportion. The production of the record is clear and all the instruments are heard in the right levels and in general it works in favor of the whole album.

As an epilogue to this review I would say that for the lovers of the dark sound this album is a must. AGNES VEIN’s “Soulship” is a small masterpiece and the irrefutable proof that the band is growing and maturing in every aspect. Just remember that this is a hard to digest record and it might need some time to grow but in any case worth the effort.


 

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Δι Αρχής- To Know the God Within
2. March of the Netherworld
3. Chaos Cauldron
4. Soulship
5. Eventus
6. Bloodfiend
Lineup:
Erikos Negros - Bass
Foivos - Drums
Sakis Kioses – Guitars
Record Label: Venerate Industries
     


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Edited 26 November 2022
 

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