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01. Au Champ Des Morts - Dans La Joie
02. Peter Bjärgö - Animus Retinentia
03. Phallus Dei - Black Dawn
04. Saille - Gnosis
05. Black Anvil - As Was
06. Heretoir - The Circle
07. Last Leaf Down - Bright Wide Colder
08. Bitterfeldt - Götzen.Dämmerung
09. Elegi - Bånsull
10. Isenordal - Shores Of Mourning
One of the most surprising returns in the goth rock scene this year is the one by Swedish cult band Soulgrinder. The band recently released a stunning new EP named Ressurection after almost 18 years of absence, which sounds even darker than anything this band did before, the ambiance on all of the four songs is so very obscure, with "old school" sound and almost suffocating atmosphere. There's no doubt that Soulgrinder has made a mark in the gothic music genre with its unique sound, which is not your typical gothic rock, but it blends elements from various dark music styles like industrial, doom, dark electro and so called dungeon synth, by often using kind of an avantgarde approach. You can read the review of Soulgrinder's recently released EP over HERE.
Growing up in a small town in Sweden, the brothers Daniel and Niclas were fascinated with music from an early age. Moving from contemporary rock bands like Sweet and Kiss into heavier acts, they found true inspiration in more avant-garde and original music like Celtic Frost’s epic album Into The Pandemonium and the Italian-Slovenian experimental rock band Devil Doll. The influences from all of these were used as a base for the brothers’ own musical journey. Guitar and piano lessons helped them kick off their song writing, which was used in various band constellations to come. Daniel's band Mandala gained a local reputation of complex song structures and a unique sound. The brothers started to experiment with computers, samplers and sequencers in the late 80s. When combining this new way of creating music with the heavy rock and guitar oriented style that they came from, the foundation for Soulgrinder was created.
In 1993 Daniel and Niclas felt that they had fine-tuned their concept, so they booked Studio Underground and a recording technician. This was even before the songs were completely written, so much of the music was improvised in the studio during the recording process. From this session, the first demo saw the light under the band name Grind, and only a year after the second demo named Winds Across Lethe was released. The unique approach towards making goth rock music by including industrial electronics clearly got the band attention, and the reputation of the band grew fast. Through tape trading, which was a major thing back then, the major Swedish metal magazine Close-Up noticed the fresh and different sound of the band and contacted the band. This ended up in that the song "Eternal Life" was included on a compilation CD Extreme Close Up vol 2 in 1994. When on a festival in Denmark, the brothers made the chocking discovery that there already existed a band with the name Grind. This lead to the name change to Soulgrinder, which was considered a suitable name fitting the style of the band.
The Close-Up CD was followed by a number of other compilation CDs, and various articles in different media. As the interest for Soulgrinder grew, the band decided to record a full length CD. The debut full-lenght named Enter was finally released in 1998 by the record label Moriensis. The CD was well received for its uniqueness and strong songs, and it was distributed to a number of countries in Europe and South America. Only a year after the debut Soulgrinder released their second album The Forgiven Ain't Forgotten in 1999. The plan was to record and release a third album in the year 2000. Most of the songs were written and ready for recording in the studio, but this was postponed due to that the band split up in 2000. The third release was to be a concept album based on ghost stories from a castle. The direction and hallmark of the previous two albums where still to be strong, but with longer and more complex song structures. As Soulgrinder was put on ice Daniel continued with other successful adventures. He among other things created the bands Madness Of The Night and Lithos Sarcophagos to which he composed all music. In 2016 Daniel and Niclas decided that is was time to go back to the roots. After a creative and productive session they completer 4 new songs.These ended up on a new EP that was released in the beginning of 2017. It was faithful to the tradition of Soulgrinder and the old fans could recognize the heavy sound and the mesmerizing song structures that has been the band’s hallmark since the beginning.