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Released: 2014, Rat Pak Records
Reviewer: Celtic Bob
Soulbender is Michael Wilton of Queensryche’s latest project that is not too far removed from what we are used to with ‘ryche. The band was first put together over ten years ago and released one album before going on hiatus. This album contains 10 of those tracks remastered along with four new ones.
SOULBENDER II is a heavier version of Queensryche. It’s less complicated musically but still maintains the melodic aspect. After listening to this album you know how critical Wilton is to the the sound of Queensryche. He is an essential part of that band. With the inevitable comparisons out of the way we can push forward.
Heavy is the only word that comes to mind while listening to this album. Every aspect of it is downright heavy. From the guitar to the hard hitting drums to the delivery of the vocals. The bass just keeps the backbeat going yet shines through in a big way on songs such as “The American Dream” which has a bit of an early 90’s Grunge aspect to it (think Alice In Chains). Definitely one of the standout tracks. There are subtle aspects throughout the album where slight comparisons could be made to the early 90‘s and Grunge. It is all part of ‘The Seattle Sound’ so it’s part of the culture. I hear some AIC in there with a bit of Stone Temple Pilots, just heaver.
SOULBENDER II is one of the most solid CD’s I got this year and with only a Month left in 2014 it is definitely a contender to make my ‘ Top of 2014 ‘ list. I look forward to hearing more from this project.
Turn Anger Up
Slave To Reality
Clockwork and Compass
The American Dream
Michael Wilton - Guitar
Nick Pollock - Vocals
guitarist Dave Groves - Guitar
Wes Hallam - Drums
Marten Van Keith - Bass
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