Beseech – Souls Highway

Reviewed: August 2002
Released: 2002, Napalm Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Rick

Why this band isn’t a bigger name I really don’t know. When gothic metal is mentioned I hear the basic Lacuna Coil, Theater of Tragedy, Sins of thy Beloved and The Gathering spoken of but rarely if ever hear anything about this band. It’s a crying shame. Beseech are one of the better bands that fall under the broad umbrella that is called gothic metal. It has only been a year since I had the opportunity to review their last disc BLACK EMOTIONS but a lot has happened to the band in that time. The most important being that they have left Pavement music and have signed a deal with Napalm Records that should see them get better distribution and a higher profile.

The band has had 3 albums on 3 different labels. Most bands would have packed it in but Beseech just keeps on plugging away. SOULS HIGHWAY sees the band heading in a slightly less heavy direction and female vocalist Lotta Hooglin takes on a bigger share of the vocal performance this time. On BLACK EMOTIONS I was surprised that she didn’t contribute more but that has been rectified on this release. Most of the songs are split pretty evenly with new vocalist Erik Molarin. The strongest song on the CD is the title track. It is also the heaviest and fastest of the 11 songs on the disc as well. “Fiction City” features the vocals of Hooglin and is a basic straight ahead riff oriented song which differentiates it from most of the rest of the disc which is more melodic with a much heavier use of keyboards. SOULS HIGHWAY is closed out with a cover of the Abba track “Gimme Gimme Gimme”. They breathe new life into this song and make it over into a doomy gothic slow ride that fits perfectly with the overall atmosphere of the disc.

One of the strong points of this CD is the fact that Beseech stay away from the dueling brutal vocals and female clean vocals that so many gothic metal bands seem to do today. They have instead substituted the ultra deep voice of Molarin. They mesh perfectly with the angelic voice of Hooglin. Beseech have traveled in a more melodic direction with this release. With the new label support and the strength of the material this could quite possibly be the breakthrough disc for the band.


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