Published on Sunday, 12 February 2017 19:05
Album title: Ressurection [EP]
Release date: 3 February 2017
01. Demons Inside
02. Bright Light
04. Tree Of Life
How many of you remember the cult Swedish goth rock band Soulgrinder? Not many of course, maybe some of the old nerdy goths and some veteran dark music lovers do, because this band was formed back in very early 90s by Daniel Dante and his brother Niclas, who after some early demo recordings, released their first official album, Enter, in 1998, then one year later they released the second digital only, now hard to be found album The Forgiven Ain´t Forgotten and soon after that split-up. Already back then Soulgrinder were considered as one very unique act with a very special approach towards making goth rock music by including into their style twisted dark artificial dungeon kind of industrial electronics and with that straying away from the typical UK influenced goth. Now after almost 19 years Soulgrinder is back and judging by their music it seems that no time has passed since then.
Those of you who follow this webmagazine must be familiar with Soulgrinder's mastermind Daniel Dante, because after the split-up he started with bands/projects Madness Of The Night and Lithos Sarcophagos, acts that were featured a lot in Terra Relicta. Even if Daniel is very creative now with his other bands, mostly with Lithos Sarcophagos, it seems that old love dies hard and Soulgrinder somehow had to be revived. What we got here is a new EP with four tracks that are sounding so very old-school, not only because of compositions, even more because of the production.
Soulgrinder today sounds even darker than before, the ambiance on all of the four songs is so very obscure, almost suffocating and I had a feeling of being trapped in some kind of a medieval dungeon. While those of you who were listening to before mentioned Lithos Sarcophagos will find many similarities, but still, in its essence Soulgrinder is darker, it's not not only a goth rock act, there are many elements taken from industrial music, also doom metal, and I won't be far away from the truth if I dare to say that also early primitive form of "dungeon synth" had a bit of impact on the composer. The opener "Demons Inside" is more than anything a typical gloomy goth rock piece that reminds a bit to early Fields Of The Nephilim, maybe you'll hear something that can remind to Type O Negative or even to that form of dark electronics similar to very early The Sisters Of Mercy. It has a nice groove and quite haunting synths that provoke a nightmarish atmosphere. Already in the beginning it is obvious that both Niclas' and Daniel's vocals sound darker, I can say also more mature and a bit more evil than ever before, as well those typical industrial elements, which are still present, are not so very evident. The slow artificial drum beats, sparkly synths, slow generic gothic rock guitars are nicely building up the murky atmosphere in the "Bright Light", it feels so very tumultuous and doomy, in here also some kind of neo-classical and sinister symphonic elements come into the picture thus the whole atmosphere like out of sudden starts to feel cold and so very decadent, in a way horrific, that I can say it's almost perverse. My favorite song up here is very melancholic and quite emotive "Trapped", where driving metalic guitar riffs, melancholic deep vocals and kind of a doom metal pace blends well with a wall of gothy synths, the only problem is that it's way too short. The last song, "Tree Of Life", is a cohesive example that goth rock, doom, industrial, a pinch of punk and dungeon synth can go hand in hand together. Maybe also thanks to this kind of production, one of the most vintage yet analogue sounding I heard lately, the songs on this EP sound so very psychotic and asphyxiating.
Nevertheless, Ressurection is quite a complex work of dark art, it needs your devotion, the songs have the necessary depth and I'm sure that fans of Daniel Dante's all other musical creations will be enthused by it, but not only, I suggest this EP to every lover of dark music out there who likes to discover something ghastly but different. In my opinion Soulgrinder did a good job, the only problem that I have is with the production, it feels like listening to some kind of an old demo tape from early 90s. I might be wrong, but I think that the same kind of impact could be reached even with more modern approach. All in all, Ressurection is a nice comeback for this cult band and I hope to hear more from them in the near future.
Review written by: T.V.