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The Suffocating Darkness
December 2014
Released: 2014, Century Media
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: UK Team

Out of the depths of the darkness, thought of as dead and long forgotten arise Soulburn and their reunified release of 'The Suffocating Darkness'. Back in 1998 Soulburn were conceived in the aftermath of Dutch Death Metal legends Asphyx by guitarist Eric Daniels and drummer Bob Bagchus, who tracing back their musical passions of the like of Celtic Frost, Venom and Bathory and uniting them into a combined musical assault. But not long after the release of their only studio album 'Feeding on Angels' Asphyx were born again and Soulburn were cast into the abyss to rot.

That was all changed last year when Bob Bagchus and Eric Daniels decided to pull out of Asphyx and bring life to the dead beast that is Soulburn. Although a full reunion would have been what Daniels and Bagchus would have wanted, Wannes Gubbels decided that he was already fully committed to Pentacle and family life so Gubbels suggested that Soulburn look to Twan Van Geel for the vocals. To add an extra dimension to their brutality Soulburn recruited second guitarist RemcoKreft and thus Soulburn were ready to unleash their new material.

The album begins with 'Apotheosis Infernali' an atmospheric intro with a combination of dying breaths and harrowing wind setting a scene of horror for the coming beast. Once well introduced the wailing scream of Van Geel announces 'Under the Rise of the Red Moon' and the album begins. A powerful rebirth has begun with shouts of come alive, come alive from Van Geel with Daniels and co providing the assault coupled with crushing breakdowns. Soulburn are truly arising.

The third track 'Into the mirror Void' is a fine example of how Soulburn can effortlessly weave in and out of their black atmospheric leanings into brutal thrash and death. The sound is reminiscent of the death and thrash styles that reigned throughout the 80's with Daniels' and Bagchus' musical inspirations coming to the fray. As the album progresses Soulburn embrace these traits adding more than an element of doom with 'Absinthesis' standing out for its melodic intro and massive riffs.

The blackened vocals of Van Geel fit perfectly into what Daniels and Bagchus have created. His throaty snarls and guttural screams provide additional force and help create an atmosphere that sends a chill to the very core of your being, be it one of abject terror or one that agrees so righteously. 'Black Aura' shows as a dark testament to this. The album comes to an end with 'claws of tribulation' a slower paced more doom involved piece and exits with 'Eden's Last Sigh' an instrumental dominated by a harrowing bass section and an that eerie wind again. It leaves you with an assumption of only desolation remaining, a feeling of isolation in a dark place. Soulburn seem to know how to manipulate the senses of the listener as they end on such an eerie vibe.

Backed by some extremely potent riffery and Van Geel's vocal exploits, Soulburn have created a powerful piece of music, one which will agree with so many. If you were fanatical of Soulburn's original release 'Feeding on Angels'then you will want to hear this album. It's a refreshing piece of metal music that combines several sub-genres into one rabid piece of infested metal. Soulburn appear to have a knack for creating a new body of music that sounds so familiar yet far apart. They have the ability to create an atmosphere and the brutality to tear through it. 'The Suffocating Darkness' is a good listen that builds an appetite for more.
Track Listing

1. Apotheosis Infernali (Intro) (1:29)
2. Under the Rise of the Red Moon (3:25)
3. The Mirror Void (5:08)
4. The Suffocating Darkness (5:01)
5. Absinthesis (5:25)
6. Hymn for the Forsaken II (5:00)
7. Black Aura (4:37)
8. I Do Not Bleed From Your Crown of Thorns (5:39)
9. Wielding Death (5:01)
10. Claws of Tribulation (5:29)
11. Eden;s Last Sigh (Outro) (3:58)


Twan Van Geel-Vocals/bass
Eric Daniels-Guitar
Bob Bagchus-Drums

Next review: » Souldrainer - Architect
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