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Soul Grip - Not Ever

Soul Grip
Not Ever
by David Crossbowmen at 01 January 2019, 4:59 AM

Belgium’s SOUL GRIP have created a scathing post-black metal album in “Not Ever”. Out now on vinyl and CD through Consouling Sounds. SOUL GRIP’s mission is to bust out a grim, cold, and a blitzkrieg of blackened dissonant riffs. Which they have completed and then some. Nathan Vander Vaet’s vocals are on point and anguish laden. The joy comes from guitarists Andy Beliên and Emmanuel Morel bringing the frantic and unrelenting riffs. Drummer Gert Stals is tremendous as well with his thunderous drumming style.

SOUL GRIP’S debut album “Not Ever” is full of sonic landscapes that project images of hopelessness and does it well. “Ton Rêve” starts with Nathan howling away at the moon. This sets up what is to come for the album. Driving and relentless black metal. “Ailes Noircies” reminded me of COBALT at times. Just the use of pensive breaks between the frenzied drum work of Gert paint a raw and emotional picture. Which is a theme on the album “Not Ever”.

Said theme is not a bad thing either, because “Grav I” is every bit of bleak and powerful. SOUL GRIP does a fantastic job at creating dissonant, chugging guitars that can hypnotize the listener. “Grand” is another example of this relentless and punishingly heavy energy. Think Agalloch at mach five speeds with cold, dissonant (there’s that word again!) guitars. The raw energy created is infectious and intoxicating. “Never Leave” lulls the listener into a dream state. There is a Shoegaze quality to it and yet, there isn’t. That is the beauty of SOUL GRIP and “Not Ever”, the juxtaposition of darkness and light. “Fiend” closes out the album in a rather epic fashion. It builds up and creates sounds until are at that blistering speed again. “Fiend” is a gargantuan epic that explores sounds and employs those grim chugs as always.

Not Ever” is not perfect however. Nathan’s vocals are a bit muddled in the production. Whether this was intentional or not, it does take away from the overall somber vibes. Alas, not is all lost because SOUL GRIP have managed to create a thoughtful, introspective, and haunting album. “Not Ever” is for fans of post-black metal and black metal in general that want something unrelenting and yet reflective at the same time.

Originality: 7
Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

1. Ton Rêve
2. Ailes Noircies
3. Grav I
4. Grave II
5. Grand
6. Never Leave
7. Fiend
Nathan Vander Vaet - Vocals
Andy Beliën - Guitar
Emmanuel Morel - Guitar
Joren De Roeck - Bass
Gert Stals - Drums
Record Label: Consouling Sounds


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Edited 19 September 2019

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