“Arkansas-based death metal band Soul Embraced will be releasing their fifth album Mythos July 9th on Rottweiler Records [The Order of Elijah, Every Knee Shall Bow, Abated Mass Of Flesh, Grave Robber]. The thought-provoking, spiritually charged power metal album features guest appearances by Bruce Fitzhugh [Living Sacrifice] and Jeremiah Scott [Demon Hunter].” – The Metal Resource (June 17th)
Like with a Thumper punk Records releases, where you can expect more than not, something above average, I found the testament of Rottweiler Records much the same. Other great bands on the Rottweiler Records label include the likes of Every Knee Shall Bow, Abated Mass of Flesh, Grave Robber, The Order of Elijah, and Lust Control). 90% of the time you can be assured of an above par release from both labels. You might not always like the kind of music these labels release, but one has to admit that they rarely fail to impress. What works in favor also for Soul Embraced is their proven track record of respectable record sales through Solid State Records in the past. So they have the fan base, and it will be interesting to watch to see how that evolves now that they are on Rottweiler Records. I trust it will go good, I know that Shawn Browning is a good oke, and is highly respected for both is commitment and hard driving work and contributions to the music scene. So I believe that both parties have made a good choice to work together. I wish both parties the best.
(“Soul Embraced, originally a side project of drummer David Sroczynski and William “Rocky” Gray, formed in 1997 and has been decimating the underground metal scene with a caustic, relentless aural assault for over sixteen years. The band released an EP on indie label Blood & Ink Records then went on to release three full-length albums on Solid State Records. Five years have passed since their last album and the band is now poised to explore the next chapter in their development.” – The Metal Resource (June 17th) )
So the release of Mythos is the culmination of 16 years of experience in the underground metal scene. Originally formed by Rock Gray with the help of fellow living Sacrifice members, Lance Garvin and Chad Moore. The Band released an EP entitled “The Fleshless EP”, and three albums (“For the Incomplete”, “This is my Blood”, “Immune”) over a five-year span. “For the incomplete” was re-released in 2003 by the independent label Blood and Ink Records, while subsequent releases bore the brand of the highly respected Solid State Records. Rocky Gray is best known for his work with well known music group, Evanescence (2003 – 2007).
Out of interest , Evanescence’s song, “Tourniquet” is a cover of the Soul Embraced song, “My Tourniquet”. Soul Embraced released “Dead Alive” on April 29th, 2008 and, after 10 years and 3 records, Soul Embraced parted ways with Solid State Records on amicable terms.
I am actually largely a big fan of side projects, as they often show case another side of the artist/s involved, or at-least expound on the talent of the artist/s, and thus paints a fuller picture of that artist or artists involved. Its also interesting to see how that artist/s works with other artists. It can also be a risk, and like myself who is currently involved in a side project that should be later this year revealed hopefully, its interesting to see how that project stands on its own. So on the 9th of July 2013 the curtain goes up on the forthcoming coming release from Soul Embraced, entitled “Mythos” and they are here to set your face a flame with their brutal sound that’s for myself a mix of brutal power metal and death metal with melodic overtones.
The album starts off with “ They live we sleep” and sweeps in with sounds of ocean waves hitting what sounds the shore that for a moment made me think for a moment that I am in for a peaceful mood inducing ambient album before the album raptures into a brutal riff assault that down right creates a mood alright, but its no fairy tale, its a brutal assault on the senses, and the song is relentless right the way through….they should have an advisory tag on the cover – “caution listen in a padded environment”, and believe me if it was not for some slower parts in their songs, you’ll be a gooey lump of mashed bones and flesh. The drumming would be well supported with a manic strobe light attack that feeds into the frenzy of a well crafted bone mincing mosh. I don’t believe the energy that these guys exude can be totally captured 100% on the album, by all accounts buy the album, but I would encourage to get the fuller picture by possibly catching a live show when available, else I believe to a part one is possibly loosing out on the overall experience of the band. There are some songs that just fair better in a live setting, and to take nothing away from the brilliance of the overall album in what they are able to convey through the recording of their energy and sound, I think these songs are screaming for live performances.
There is an over all epic-ness in some of the songs like, “perversion of the Cross” and “heart broken reaper”, which are two songs I really like, and the brutal face devouring riffs come through clean and strong without being over- produced. Some great lead guitar in “heart broken reaper. This a very strong release overall, and though some songs have some similarities you do not find yourself getting bored and tortured. This is not an album for everyone, but what I liked about it, is that even in its brutal-ness, its able to entertain and deliver the punches without being so brutal, that it becomes a mesh of in-cohesive sounds that find you grating your teeth. There is a melodic overtone to the sound. I will go as far to say even if you are not an extreme power metal/ death metal riffage fan; have a listen to this, its brutal, and might kick ya head in, but it would be a pleasurable experience all the same. The album ends with “the invocation”. Great song to end the album, a very peaceful, time to catch your breathe, and gather your dismembered self (A padded room ain’t gonna save you from this album) from the floor and bring the heart rate down.
The current lineup includes Chad Moore [vocals], Rocky Gray [drums], Cody Smith [guitar] and Jon Dunn [bass]. Rocky Gray is best known for his drum work with mulch-platinum selling artist Evanescence [2003-2007] and as a guitarist for Living Sacrifice [1999–2003, 2005, and 2008–present].
As more of a project band than a touring entity, live dates will be sparse in coming months. New dates will be posted to Facebook as they become available.
In Conclusion this release is a gut punching, body ripping, adrenaline loaded package. Best played loud, but like I said the only ‘negative’ for a lack of a better word is that the songs for myself are like better suited for a live experience. Though ultimately I think they have managed to kick a few teeth out with this recording. Its well produced, and the songs flow nicely maintaining the pace and energy through out. Without comparing it, because there is very little in common between the two releases, but I remember when “Arise” came out from Sepultura, I played that album to death, it was just so brutal, yet catchy and memorable at the same time, and this album has those elements in it. Its not for the faint of heart, but if you a fan of this kind of music, you’ll play it till death, and depending on how loud you play it, until the cops come a knocking. A great release from Soul Embraced. In Rocky Gray’s own words on the release of Mythos, “by far the best, most brutal Soul Embraced record to date”. He further has gone on record about Mythos as saying, “thought provoking, spiritually charged power metal”. I think that about sums it all up in a nut shell from the man himself.
For fans of: Living Sacrifice
1) They Live, We Sleep
2) Awaken the Catalyst
4) Like A Corpse
5) Luciferian Alliance
6) Perversion Of The Cross
7) Heartbroken Reaper
8) Counterfeit Gospel
9) The Invocation
Cody Smith- Guitar
Jon Dunn- Bass
Chad Moore- Vocals
Rocky Gray- Drums
Record label: Rottweiler Records, July 2013
The Fleshless [EP] (1999)
For the Incomplete (2000)
This Is My Blood (2002)
Dead Alive (2008)
Like a Corpse [Single] (2012)