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Soulskinner - Crypts of Ancient Wisdom Award winner

Crypts of Ancient Wisdom
by Danny Sanderson at 01 December 2014, 10:32 AM

Greece has long ago cemented its place on the Extreme Metal map. Bands like ROTTING CHRIST and more recently BIO-CANCER and SUICIDAL ANGELS have been have been solidifying the countries reputation for putting out Extreme music. SOULSKINNER, although not the most well known band to come out of the country, have been playing some really sepulchral Death Metal for close to twenty years, fourteen of those under the name SOULSKINNER. Since 2000, this band have put out two full lengths and two splits, and have recent released their third record, " Crypts of Ancient Wisdom". This is yet another slab of old school sounding Death Metal which matches up to the rest of their back catalogue.

The short intro track which opens this record is a really nice acoustic guitar piece, starting off as a single guitar, before becoming a twin guitar section. It builds some level of atmosphere straight from the start, and delivers on what this atmosphere promises when the first song, "The Captive Trojan Maiden" begins. It is very dark sounding, low fidelity Death Metal, very rooted in the old school sound. "Life a Bane" is very much the same, and has an air of BOLT THROWER about it, with its thick, gnarly riffs, tied in with some really nice guitar lines. "The Price of War" is a really brilliant song with a clear Punk influence, at least as far as the drums go. It's ferocious and has even more brilliant guitar lines, and the song ends on the sound of gunfire. Throughout the next track, "Our Greatest Curse", Bill Zobolas has clearly put out all the stops when it comes to the guitar work, which is absolutely fantastic on this song, mixing the crushing rhythmic dirge with some sweet melodic leads. "The Furies Hymn" is just straight forward, powerful Death Metal. Then it is time for the two part song "Deadland", the first of the two songs being more mid-paced and straight forward, and the second being this thick, heavy sounding Death Metal track, with many of the riffs alluding to the likes of BOLT THROWER and CARCASS. This is basically a great example of how Death Metal should sound; heavy and crushing. "Thou Shalt Die" is yet another stellar track by this band, with lots of really cool guitar lines. The slow, groove laden "Death at Last" and the album's eerie final track, "Why Shrink From Death", bring this album to its climax. The latter in particular is a very interesting song, utilising a piano tune to build the atmosphere up in the song before the riffs kick in. Then it is left to a short "Outro" to take the album to it's conclusion.

This is by far one of the best Death Metal albums I've heard in a good long while. This may, for me, be the best Death Metal release of 2014. It combines the riffs and stylings of the old school scene with other influences, and produces something that will appeal to many. Apart from the occasional, very tiny things, it's flawless. Definitely give this a listen, and check out the bands earlier work.

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. The Captive Trojan Maiden
3. Life a Bane
4. The Price of War
5. Our Greatest Curse
6. The Furies Hymn
7. Deadland Pt.1
8. Deadland Pt.2
9. Thou Shalt Die
10. Death at Last
11. Why Shrink From Death
12. Outro
Bill Zobolas- Guitar, Bass
Gothmog- Vocals
Record Label: Xtreem Music


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Edited 27 January 2021

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