Release DetailsLABEL Galy
RELEASED ON 11/30/2004
Victim Impact Statement
posted on 1/2005 By:
More melodic death metal! I love it. This time it comes not from Scandinavia or their studious brethren in the US, but from Vancouver, Canada. I feel like I’m drowning in melodic death lately, which makes up for the unexpected lack of it last year. Soulscar does their part to maintain the high quality of what’s been coming my way lately (Dark Tranquillity, Scar Symmetry, The Funeral Pyre, Urkraft, etc.), and reaffirms why they landed a deal with Galy Records after 2002’s debut album, Character Assassination, which I must track down now.
Mainman Andrew Staehling, along with Stas Mikheev, has a superb sense for writing sinfully catchy riffs, laid over thrashy rhythm riffs. It’s like layering the good aspects of As I Lay Dying’s sound over Callenish Circle songs. Igor keeps proper time behind the kit, throwing in interesting fills when needed. Anyone who’s listened to a few albums of the genre already know how the vocals will sound - a hoarse delivery, half-screamed. In Andrew’s case, the closest comparison I can make is to Mike of Burden of Grief. But they change things up a little with the sporadic clean vocals of Brent the bassist, which lean towards the Killswitch Engage/Thursday style of delivery. They don’t detract much, but I could do without them.
Opener “Unmade” makes a statement with a fast and thrashy riff, before showcasing that infectious melody, highlighted by the super-clear production. A simple moving solo is substituted into that part of the song towards the end before the last chorus where many bands nowadays would just throw in a breakdown. Remember the solo? All ten songs are of the same caliber, so there aren’t really any standouts or letdowns, although “Hell Bitch” is a quick, delightful romp at NASCAR speeds. The title track brings the whole package together with one of the better clean vocal jobs, a noodling solo, and a relaxing piano outro. They come across as fast, but not particularly crushing, in the way that Children of Bodom plays 200 MPH without being all that heavy. Not that they sound like COB, of course.
It’s nice to hear another fine album from the great white north, regardless of where they picked up their influences from. I really doubt this will be top ten material for me, but it is certainly an enjoyable ride. This album is for any melodic death fan, or any fan of the AILD/Avenged Sevenfold/Unearth school of metalcore that feels like taking a breather from the pit. If you want guitar melodies, look no further than Victim Impact Statement.
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