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Soul Embraced - This is My Blood

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Like a well-oiled machine, Soul Embraced comes storming out of the gate for their third release. As with "For the Incomplete" we have some raging melodic metal in a death/thrash/black melting pot. I've heard a lot of
people calling this "death metal", but to me that would be the same as calling Zao - black metal. The similarities are there, but the tag just doesn't fit. To me, I hear more of a metalcore sound than anything else. Regardless of the label you slap on the band, they will rock you with
authority.

With Rocky Gray and Lance Garvin driving these tunes, you are bound to hear some Living Sacrifice influences emerge, but Soul Embraced stands on it's own as a force to be reckoned with. I also hear some Zao influences now and then as well. To be honest, it's hard to find a Solid State band now-a-days that isn't influenced by Living Sacrifice or Zao. This is a trend that has started to annoy me just a little. Granted those are good influences, but the label would do good to branch out a little bit. Anyways...off the commentary and back to the review. Chad Moore's throaty death vocals growl with intensity, but the band also throws in some clean background vocals to keep it interesting. Rocky's technical guitar playing impresses as well as he shifts from blazing along at break-neck speed, to throwing down some slow and hefty riffs, to guitar solos that leave your head spinning.

"My Name is Legion" is the standout cut here. This song sounds more death metal than any of the other songs, and besides that, it just plain shreds. "Leech" is also a killer tune that reminds me of "Liar" from Living
Sacrifice's "Reborn" album. However, instead of referring to Satan as the leech, they compare Christ's salvation to a leech that "drains this hell from me". Another one of my favorite cuts is the third track, "Helples in Wither", which basically eats the first two tracks for lunch.

Overall, I like this album, but I'm not sure it I like it more than "For the Incomplete". That will take more listens to determine. As talented as the band is, on both albums I frequently lose interest. Maybe that goes back to the fact that a lot of the Solid State bands are similar in style. Ya heard one, ya heard 'em all. But, if that is not a problem for ya than brutal music, bold lyrics, and sweet artwork make this a release you don't want to miss.  (Review by Matt)

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Ok, I just got this album and I have very mixed feelings on this.  Why is it all these bands start to sound the same and sound dumb??  Well let's start with why I like this. The production on here is fabulous.  You can hear every instrument well and it's loud! This is how a cd should be all the time!  They must have had a decent budget for this. The drum sound is good.  Very heavy hitting and powerful.  Lance Garvin's drums seem to always have a nice sound.  When the guitars play it's melodic pieces, it also sounds great and the bass is in the back driving it along!  Now what I hate about this!  The vocals!!!!!!!!  WHAT is that garbage??  These guys need a vocalist and bad!  This generic stuff from an amateur is just worthless.  Let's see how much we can sound like another lame vocalist in that of Extol shall we?  Ooops, did I say that?  YES I DID!  I'll say it again too!  But I guess one time is enough.  The guitars in the riffs playing the heavier stuff sound so one demensional and toneless.  Almost too distorted and not giving it any definition.  I guess he likes that hardcore guitar sound.  Good for him!  I HATE IT!  It works in the melodic parts as I said earlier, but he needs some work.  This start and stop patterns musically tend to irritate me so much!  If you are going to play metal, then play it right or not at all!  How about it?  The lyrics are well thought out. Much like Living Sacrifice's lyrics.  Not childish, yet saying what has to be said.  Now if they can find a vocalist to sing these right, they will go farther!  So in closing, I would say this release is below average but not so far below that I know some may really like it.  Extol and LS fans will eat this up.  But die hard metalheads like me who see this advertised as metal and don't care for either band will definitely hate it!  (Review by Biff Bartholemew)

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