Life Becomes Our Grave
posted on 2/2008 By:
Heretic Soul is a three-piece from Turkey, and this self-released six-track demo is their second recording. For a demo, even for a demo of a power-trio in a country not particularly known for its metal scene, this is acceptable, but certainly not astounding. Life Becomes Our Grave is mostly death metal of the slamming kind, treading that line between death and groove. It’s somewhere between later Sepultura, Dying Fetus, and Machine Head—deathly but with modern chugga-chugga breakdowns thrown in the mix to keep the ‘core audience happy.
Vocalist Sarp Keski also handles guitars, and while his vocals are good enough in the standard death growl way, the guitar-work is bland. His riffing is pretty basic, with lots of staccato low-string work and some bits that sound like Robb Flynn / Andreas Kisser outtakes. I’m not asking for Brain Drill insanity, but I do like to hear something a bit more innovative than what’s on display here. I think Heretic Soul would do well to add another guitarist to help him out, both in terms of riff-writing and spicing things up. Drummer Erhan Karaca suffers from a similar problem: he’s unimaginative, alternately blasting and grooving, but never straying far from what’s expected. He could also use some tonal adjustments, something to give the drums a little bit more oooomph. His sound in the instrumental opening track is pretty sketchy, and his kick-drum is bordering on clicky throughout the whole demo. I’d crank up a bit of low-end on that sucker and let it really push, especially since it’s flying along through most every song here.
The groove-metal influence is readily apparent in the breakdowns in "No Apocalypse" and the clean/harsh vocal dynamics in "Sick Malice." Heretic Soul likes to break it down, and they do so at least once per song—Turkish pit ninjas, get your high-kicks ready. Death metal purists won't be happy to have the likes of Slipknot and Soulfly mixed in with their Deicides and so forth, but Heretic Soul stands a chance with those kids who don't draw the line between Arise and Roots. The lyrics mostly attack religion, which, in 2008, is more than a little played out, but since Turkey is about 99% Muslim, at least they’re attacking a different religion than the other 95% of metal bands.
Life Becomes Our Grave never steps outside the shadow of its influences, and the predictable production and sturdy-but-flashless performance don’t help in any way to push it up to the next level. Nothing here pokes its head above the countless other groove / death bands out there, and in the end, it is neither bad nor good. It’s just the same ol’ (Istanbul)shit you’ve heard a hundred times before. (HA! Get it? Istanbul? Bullshit? [crickets] Is this thing on?...)
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