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
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)