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Soulburn – Noa’s D’ark

Soulburn
Noa’s D’ark
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 15 November 2020, 2:07 AM

SOULBURN is a blackened death/doom band from the Netherlands.  They were formed by Rogga Johansson and Bob Bagchus in the 90’s.  Rogga eventually left the band but they are still going strong with “Noa’s D’ark,” being their fourth full length album.  They have also released a demo, one split, and an EP. Black metal is one of those genres that has really grown in the last decade and mixes well with pretty much any style.  Blackened doom has quickly turned into one of my favorite styles and this latest album from SOULBURN really exemplifies the power behind the subgenre.

As expected, the album’s overall sound is loud and raw but the production isn’t so clear that it takes the bite away.  The caustic energy of black metal is wrapped firmly around the foreboding sounds of doom and the intensity of death metal keeps the myriad sounds together. But “Noa’s D’Ark,” isn’t an album that relies on just one dimension.  Despite their doom leanings, they don’t always play slow and lumbering Likewise, they aren’t always in a full on black metal rage either.  SOULBURN managed to make an album that mixes these sounds together but can also separate them enough to switch in and out in a very effective way.

The first track, “Morgue Of Hope,” begins with a slow overture of melodic but heavily layered riffs.  Twan van Geel’s vocals are impressive and ride the line between a blackened shriek and a death growl.  The band, and album, works best when everything settles into a groove and it all comes bursting out like pure fire, such as the movement beginning at the 3:20 mark.  It has that traditional black metal sound going on but made more distinctive with a filthy layer of grim riding just beneath it. The title track is all rise and forward momentum, immediately hitting a brutal stride within just seconds.  Subtle use of melody mixes in well with the riffs for some deep head banging moments that lead into the last quarter of the song where the guitars bring out rapid fire riffs that ramps up the energy even further.  This song is a burner for sure.

Assailed By Cosmic Lighting,” is highlighted by unique cleans that are nearly as searing as the blackened wails. This particular track is one big wall of sound, the riffs digging in hard with a thick tone and tumultuous nature.  Marc’s double bass keeps a death metal foundation under the songs that counterbalance the guitar’s more hypnotic nature. “Anointed-Blessed-and Born For Burning,” is a song with a duality at its center, being both ominous and harrowing.  The guitars and bass sound like they have been dragged up from hell itself and the vocals are exciting in their depravity.  The guitars at the 2:09 mark are the audio equivalent of being stabbed to death and the vocals are force behind it all that pushes the blades in further.

Abyssica,” is one of the album’s best tracks.  I loved the drums that focus in on backing up the riffs as they start and stop. The cadence here is quick and very sharp but with purpose.  The first half the song sounds a bit more traditional for such an extreme band but it changes many styles during it’s 4:50 runtime.  A melodic bridge fuses the song together and the blackened death ending rides the song out to a stunning conclusion. The final track, “On The Crimson Wings Of My Ruin,” is another personal favorite.  The guitars put on perhaps their best performance and they sound truly sinister.  The drums and bass are a tornado of destruction, carrying with them the rest of the band as the song is blown through straight out the other side for maximum damage.

All in all, SOULBURN’s “Noah’s D’ark,” is a super intense blackened ride through the darkness of doom—full speed ahead and leaving nothing in its wake.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Morgue Of Hope
2. Noah’s Dark
3. Tempter ov the White Light
4. Anarchrist
5. Shrines of Apathy
6. Assailed by Cosmic Lightning
7. Triumphant One
8. Anointed-Blessed-and Born for Burning
9. The Godless I
10. From Archaeon Into Oblivion
11. Abyssica
12. On The Crimson Wings of My Ruin
Lineup:
Eric Daniels – Guitars
Remco Kreft – Guitars
Twan van Geel – Vocals, Bass
Marc Verhaar - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records
     


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Edited 05 December 2020
 

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