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Released: 2003, Solid State Records
Born as a side project of Living Sacrifice, Soul Embrace has developed into a crushing outfit that more than stands on their own merits. Their brand of crunchy groove oriented metal is hard to turn off and their new cd entitled IMMUNE is full of catchy tracks that are a great fusion of the brutal and the melodic. Lance Gavin: drums and Rocky Gray: guitars served time in Living Sacrifice and are joined on this CD by vocalist Chad Moore. Unfortunately, I have never heard Living Sacrifice so I can’t compare the bands although this is possibly a good thing. Comparing what some would call a side project to the original band sometimes leaves blinds people to the fact that a great band is sitting right under their nose and preconceived notions and unfair comparisons often destroy bands before they are given a chance to spread their own wings.
IMMUNE is 10 songs that were by Barry Pointer (Zao, Living Sacrifice) at Poynters Palace in Little Rock Arkansas. “Immune to Emotion” is the perfect opener for the disc as the whole sound of the band is laid out in this track. The groove and melody are there as well as the spitting venom vocals of Chad Moore. “I Bury You” caught my attention right away as much of the crunchiness gives way to clean vocals and a more straight ahead vibe that is both a bit out of place but at the same time appealing. Moore’s vocals work much better when they are being growled but he does double duty here as his screech is tempered by his clean voice. “Someone Just Walked Over My Grave” is possibly the standout track on the disc. This track is infused with a more thrash influenced feel ala The Haunted while keeping the tempo below neck wrecking speeds. As with most of Soul Embraced’s songs the lyrics of this particular track deal with the darker side of life, in this case the emptiness that we all feel and how some people choose to deal with it. Not a lighthearted band to say the least. Other standout tracks include the disc closer “Shadow World” and a despairing tale of abuse called “Someday”.
At first spin I expected this CD to be nothing more than another of the myriad of chugga chugga bands that is on the fringe of the metal scene now. After a couple of listens I realized that the band has more to offer than just groovy guitar riffs. They move around the musical spectrum alternately turning up and down the melody quotient to create a bunch of songs that will appeal to anyone who like a bit of groove in their metal. Without ever hearing Living Sacrifice I have no way of ever knowing if they music of Soul Embraced is akin to that band. Right now I don’t care. Soul Embraced have created with IMMUNE a catchy collection of tunes that is sure to open up many doors for them.
01 - "Immune To Emotion"
02 - "The Hero"
03 - "I Bury You"
04 - "Abandoned"
05 - "Someone Just Walked Across My Grave"
06 - "Someday"
07 - "Existence In Despair"
08 - "On Your Own"
09 - "Seems Like Forever"
10 - "Shadow World"
Lance Gavin: drums
Rocky Gray: guitars
Chad Moore: vocals
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