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Seraph In Travail - Lest They Feed Upon Your Soul Award winner

Seraph In Travail
Lest They Feed Upon Your Soul
by Louise Brown at 06 August 2019, 5:23 PM

SERAPH IN TRAVAIL started out in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the year 2008. They've recorded an EP and two full-length albums to date. I'm reviewing their latest release, "Lest They Feed Upon Your Soul".

"At The Stormed Shore Of Heaven" starts out with an almost opera-like intro which has been boosted by plenty of powerful guitar hooks. As the track gains volume and speed the vocals commence with a prolonged scream that really needs to be heard in order to fully appreciate it. It also establishes the fact that SERAPH IN TRAVAIL has a sound that bears more resemblance to their European counterparts rather than that of other Stateside Symphonic Black Metal bands. The track has a great deal of speed as a great melody. The interplay between guttural and clean vocals is nothing short of fantastic, which I'm sure fans of both Melodic and Black Metal will appreciate as much as I do. In addition there's some excellent guitar playing within the song that sends it over the top. I think using this particular track to open the album is a great choice because it makes the listener want to hear even more.  "Temptress Suicide" becomes very high speed after a brief piano intro then slows down again, becoming more focused on a heavy bass signature along with guitar riffs that grab your attention. The vocals are oddly appealing, offering a mix between guttural and clean that isn't quite balanced. The result is a sound that is a bit annoying yet hard to ignore as well. Once a female lead joins in with clean vocals the sound becomes less annoying and more enjoyable. Eventually the track leads to a guitar solo which is simply excellent. Overall, the song is very different, but seriously good. "To Atom Crushing Glory" has a sound that is closer to Thrash Death Metal instead of Symphonic Black Metal. It features plenty of guttural vocals interspersed with shrieks that are nearly piercing in quality. With the addition of a generous amount of brutal guitar playing I have no problem staying interested in what I am hearing. The track takes on a very nice melodic sound as it reaches the halfway point, which contrasts perfectly with the harsher-sounding vocalizations by Jon Sutherman. I'm confident most fans of Metal music would get into the song as much as I did.

"You Will Be My Vengeance" lives up to its ominous-sounding title. It has a great deal of fury and grim determination present within it as it plays. The pace of the song matches the mood flawlessly, creating tension and drama while it plays. One of the best guitar solos on the entire album is certainly the feature on the track. However, the vocal performance is jaw-dropping as it ranges from growls to screams that push the limits of your ears endurance. I can't recall the last time I heard a lead singer with such an impressive range. If I had to pick one song to recommend this would be it. "In The Frostbitten Moonlight" has epic overtones immediately. The song's tone and the pace of the vocals combine to create a wonderfully mesmerizing sound that you'll find yourself more or less held prisoner by until the track ends. The tempo of the composition takes on an opera-like overtone, increasing the sense of drama even more. There are simply too many good things to list about this song. It's positively fantastic. "A Fragrant Corpse Carriaged" is not quite as good as the previous selections. It sounds almost labored in places, and lacks that spark of something extra that the other songs have in abundant quantities. That being said, it is NOT a bad song in and of itself. It's just not quite as good as the rest of the material I've listened to from the album. Of the last two tracks, I find myself enjoying "The Tide I Could Not Turn" the most. It blends high speed and chaos together in such a way that the result is another great song. It's fast, heavy and brutal, becoming even mores so with the addition of more impressive vocals and guitar playing that is nothing short of outstanding. It's yet one more song that will keep you interested from start to finish.

 I'm beyond impressed by the quality of the music on "Lest They Feed Upon Your Soul".  It would be a great addition to anyone's Metal album collection.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9


4 Star Rating

1. At the Stormed Shore of Heaven
2. Temptress Suicide
3. To Atom-Crushing Glory
4. You Will Be My Vengeance
5. In Frostbitten Moonlight
6. A Fragrant Corpse Carriaged
7. Worlds Strewn like Wreckage
8. The Tide I Could Not Turn

  Jon Sutherman -  Vocals, bass
  Joe Bonner -  Guitar
  Dan Shegogue -  Guitar
  Mike Shaw -  Drums, bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 21 January 2020

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