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Soulbound – Addicted To Hell

Soulbound
Addicted To Hell
by Matt Bozenda at 28 September 2020, 10:49 PM

One can only guess what the next step in metal’s evolution is going to be, and for that matter, it’s tough to pin down exactly where it is right now. Which band or artist gets to be the model for the chart? Will it take a progressive stance in the form of ANIMALS AS LEADERS or BARONESS? Will it be a more strict Post-Metal like PELICAN or RUSSIAN CIRCLES? Is it bound to explore strange frontiers in the fashion of NEUROSIS or GODFLESH? The problem is, those bands are all around right now; you can buy their albums and literally hear the future today. And if you’re inclined to regard them in that fashion, then what do you have to call modern metal? Influenced by but not sounding like the radio standards of old?

Consider the candidacy of SOULBOUND, whose “urban goth metal for the end days” may have arrived right on time in the form of their fourth full-length album, "Addicted To Hell". The modernity is obvious right from the beginning, and it stays that way, not by taking you somewhere else but leaving you right where you are, with no escape. Many tracks have the rhythm of pro-wrestling entrance themes, and as a whole, the album feels like the soundtrack of a straight-to-streaming horror/action movie, the kind where the soundtrack is the best part.

Starting with the title track, "Addicted To Hell" draws a distinct line in the metal sand. Alternative Metal could be a bit of an archaic term, but that would be the closest sub-genre to point this one at, especially on tracks like "March March" and "Fuck You". We who remember the heyday of the Post-Grunge era might be vaguely reminded of bands like BREAKING BENJAMIN and maybe INCUBUS, but this has less of a Nu-Metal aftertaste while harping a bit more of the gothy side of things, not unlike H.I.M., with the track "Undone".

After that, the sound becomes gradually more industrial, blending in reminders of fellow Deutschlander legends KMFDM, particularly on the tracks "Devil", "Crash And Burn", and the closer, "Unleashed Aporia". These are intertwined with darker, more melancholy tunes like "Alive" and "Tic Toc". Whatever a particular track’s theme, the band plays it well, with each piece fitting exactly as it needs, a unified force not focusing on any particular element, building a wonderful balance between power and beauty.

"Addicted To Hell" is another excellent metal offering from Der Vaterland, another step in the evolution of the country’s metal scene, from CAN’s Krautrock to the pioneering metal of the SCORPIONS to the Tanzmetall of RAMMSTEIN. Only time will tell what sort of impact SOULBOUND will have, whether greater for German metal or metal across the globe, but "Addicted To Hell" should speak for itself as far as the year’s lists go; there are many tracks that qualify for the big playlist, and the album itself could make a finish in the points.

The first edition release is also going to be a limited one, featuring a second disc with live acoustic versions of a selection of songs, as well as a few covers, and true to industrial form, some remixes. If you can appreciate metal with an updated and modern sound, then put this one in the cart.

Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Addicted To Hell
2. March March
3. Toxic
4. Fuck You
5. Undone
6. Devil
7. The Beast
8. Crash And Burn
9. Tic Toc
10. Alive
11. Sucker’s Place
12. Fire It Up
13. Unleashed Aporia
Lineup:
Johnny Stecker – Vocals
Felix Klemisch – Guitar
Johnny Ramirez – Guitar
Patrick Winzler – Synths
Jonas Langer – Bass
Mario Krause – Drums
Record Label: Metalville
     


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