Label: Xtreem Music
Date: November 11th, 2020
I’ll be honest from the start. I have never heard of Soulskinner before. My fault, absolutely. Being a band of respectable age and a decent reputation among the underground circles, somehow this Greek quintet passed under my radar. Unfortunately, I might add, since their fifth full length record I’m reviewing here is a delightfully rich record, especially within a certain limits of one of my favorite metal sub-genres.
I’m not talking about death metal here, even if the new Soulskinner record is announced as another strike of old school dark version of death metal. The Greeks have managed to adopt a whole lot of external influences that are not quite taking over the essential death metal layer, but coming real close to equaling their importance in the overall soundscape.
Namely, this darkened black metal aura that passes through most of the overly melodic parts of this record. If some of you are familiar with the recent works by Serbian legends The Stone, you might find apparent similarities in development of said melodic lines on “Seven Bowls of Wrath”.
Atmospheric embodiment of the album reminded me of yet another Greek old timer. Nightfall, to be exact. At the same time, some of the slower pieces of the record take the listener down to melancholic doom metal waters.
Wrapped in the death metal coating, all of these elements make for a very interesting listening session.
Not to state that Soulskinner is in any way original, it is very obvious these guys are talented enough to have found their own path through the vast and ever expanding fields of extreme metal. These ten tracks bear a singular note that they are created by Soulskinner. They are intriguingly crafted and leave you craving more.
It is interesting to hear how many seemingly different aspects can be placed in tracks sometimes lasting less than four minutes. At the same time not getting the feeling that they are crammed and over compressed.
Frankly, I am impressed. Which makes it an even bigger shame that I was unable to follow this band more thoroughly through their two decades of existence. The one thing left for me is to trace their steps back, wherever that road may take me. Even if this album is the pinnacle of their creation so far, I’m more than interested to follow up on their legacy. And if they will be able to keep this up, or even go further, I will be there to catch their next steps. No doubt about that.