Soulscar - Victim Impact Statement - Galy Records - 2004
1 Unmade 2 Death Anxiety 3 Cast Aside 4 Hell Bitch 5 Without a Shadow 6 Ultimatum 7 Regressor 8 Alive Awake 9 To the Pain 10 Victim Impact Statement
Canadian metal is roaring it's head the last few years: Kataclysm, Blinded by Faith and of course the ultra heavy Cryptopcy have all been on the rise one way or another. Soulscar is, as the in-crowd will probably know, not the latest edition to the Canadian scene (they' ve been around sice 1997), but is definitely one of the more skillfull and innovative bands that has seen the Canadian light of day in the last few years.
As I mentioned before the band started of in Vancouver B.C. Canada, in 1997. In 2000 they released their first demo called "Abandoned" quickly followed by the "Python" demo in 2001. Already widely known in the underground scene, they released their first full length album "Character assasination" in 2002 all by their own. Soulscar is the brainchild of one Andrew Staehling, (vocals and guitars), Stash Mikheev (guitars), Brent Mackenzie (bass and vocals) and Igor Cheifot (drums).
The front of the booklet shows a hammer bashing itself in the surface and for a reason: in the disc 40 minutes of furious, relentless metal is enclosed. The music tends to melodic trash, but actually it's a mix of various forms of extreme melodic metal.
Soulscarís music is firmly based on three pillars: Melody, Pace and Agression.
Melody Characteristic for and the thread in this album: melody. Not one of the songs lacks some form of musical diversity. Take the first three songs of the album for instance: Unmade, Death Anxiety and Cast Aside. Especially the opener is an example of how a song in this genre should be build: short, fast paced, wailing guitars and vocal diversity.
Pace Almost all of the songs are an assault, a hammering, of the ears. Itís really groove galore all the way actually. Unmade, Regressor and To the Pain are all a battering of speed.
Agression This album blazes anger, fury and hatred. The music is a vicious pounding of agression, fury and anger.
Based on these three pillars, the album is divided in ten songs. I shall provide you with a short description of each of the ten songs. On reading youíll probably get a better understanding of why Soulscarís music is a mix of melody, pace and agression.
Unmade Characterized by groove, great guitar melodies and clean singing. The repeating of the same catchy riffs over and over again is especially adictive to listen to.
Death Anxiety Fast paced again, a clean sung interlude and the same catchiness as in Unmade.
Cast Aside This song is less fast paced (thank god!) than the first two songs. Yet again briliant riffing (how are these guys able to suprise me yet again?) Cast Aside starts slow and picks up speed in the second part of the song.
Hell Bitch A Typical thrash intro and death like drumming. One of the more agressive songs on the album.
Without a Shadow Compared to the first four songs this is a rather slug paced song. Itís a breather for the albums second part.
Ultimatum Another nice example of the outstanding riffs Soulscar is being able to produce. The second part of the song fades into a doomlike outro.
Regressor Tempo picks up yet again: another fast paced song. The repeating of riffing in the background is similar to the ones in Unmade.
Alive Awake Alive Awake starts with a long guitar intro, you'll wonder if the song is just instrumental? Thereís actually more guitars in this song than thereís singing, so itís kind of instrumental anyway.
To the Pain Fast paced, same long guitarintro as in Alive Awake.
Victim Impact Statement A melancholic, clean sung, intro, followed by harsh shrieks to be followed by another clean sung chorus. The song has one of the best and longest guitar solo's of the album.
Their music being great nonetheless, the album's production seems to lack the smoothnes of some of the more established bands in this genre. Don't get me wrong, the production is okay, but not as smooth as can be. Is this a downer?? No, it aint. The way this cd is produced actually adds to the atmosphere and the bandís musical style: a rough edge which gives an underground feel to their music.
Victim Impact Statement is an example that small-scale production (Character assasination is even more an example of this "statement") can sometimes lead to beter results than the average mainstream controled production proceses of most bands nowdays. Soulscar is one of few underground bands that can actually take the step into the big leagues. Victim Impact Statement is a small gem, waiting to be uncovered by the public at large.
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