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Soulwound – The Suffering Award winner

Soulwound
The Suffering
by Quinten Serna at 21 October 2020, 2:52 PM

It’s always amazed me to no end how all encompassing and divergent Thrash Metal is capable of being—that bands, ideas, and musical ventures can bear such a discrete difference from one another, and yet still remain composite of the same roots. SOULWOUND explores the uninhabited waters of the genre with their latest release, “The Suffering.”

The album begins with the song, “Waste Of Life” wherein a single hi-hat marking time for the rest of the band as they join in sequence thereafter, the descending run of the strings moving in and out of the same chord conjures imaginings of something dismal and melancholic, a depressing segue to main riff whose speed alone is a stark juxtaposition. The next track is entitled, “Ritual Cleansing” starts with a sample before shifting entirely towards a hastened introduction where one guitar plays harmonics and the other matches its rhythm with palm muting, the progression which follows thereafter matches the rhythm creating a sense of unity. The progression of the song as a whole is an intrinsic piece feeling natural beyond measure, such that imagining the song without any of the refrains, pauses, breaks, or industrial samples would ruin the song as a whole. “Enter The Hivemind” begins with both guitars harmonizing in a dry pan in a slow progression—this piece is used later in the song whereupon its overlay with drums completely changes the imagery it previously crafted. “Meat Puppetswhether a reference to the Rock band or not—plays out a bit different from the rest of the tracks as it bears a more exacting and in-your-face attitude, perhaps due to the less involving drumming coupled with the less complicated guitar work, the song serves as a sort of refrain at the halfway mark of the album. “Apex Predator” is a beast all in its own starting with such distinction that it barely feels that it was written at the same time as the other tracks; the song combines the greatest elements of the band the versatility and range of the vocals, the seamless intermixing of rhythm and lead with the guitars, the perfect transitions from the drums, and the leading divergences of the bass constantly shifting rhythm.

The instrumentation on the album is a sublime amalgamation of different talents and skills possessed by members of the band from the stereoscopic dual guitars to the utterly insane drum riffs the soundscape is something memorable and haunting. The guitars are of a particular notice as they contain a sound more based in Death Metal than Thrash, the brutal and visceral tone of each guitar perfectly aligns and melds with the other creating a stereo image of desolation; the bass is a powerhouse above all else commanding the listener’s attention front and center; the drums feel a bit distant in comparison to the strings but are composed of true mastery both in writing and performance as they effortlessly move in and out different grooves; and lastly the vocals are a compilation of terrifying screams, growls, screeches, and roars which interlay with each instrument without detracting from the track.

SOULWOUND took me for great surprise with ‘”The Suffering,” from the extent of diversity found within the track to the near feature length time of 48 minutes of which both are contained within 10 tracks. By short definition the album is a masterpiece and more than well worth the listen.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Waste Of Life
2. Ritual Cleansing
3. Pleasures
4. The Cult Of I
5. Enter The Hivemind
6. Meat Puppets
7. Error In The System
8. This Hatred
9. Apex Parasite
10. Death Of The Sun
Lineup:
Joni Järvenmäki – Bass
Janne Huusari – Drums
Mikko Huusari – Guitars
Niko Huusari – Guitars
Ilkka Valkonen – Vocals
Record Label: Inverse Records
     


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Edited 01 December 2020
 

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