Review written by William Dibble of Panfocal Photography, photos provided by SoulSeason’s Facebook page
Chris Scott, Carl Uno, and Adam Moore come together in SoulSeason to deliver a energizing metal performance. Their new album, Wither, released just last week, and is a strong entry into the burgeoning NC metal scene. The album opens with a monologue, “Intro”, about making the choice between running and hiding, and standing to fight, which sets the scene for the rest of the album.
“Wither” is the first actual song on the album, if you don’t count the introduction. SoulSeason pulls no punches, immediately starting with a wall-of-sound-style metal riff. The blast beats and rhythms don’t let up as the song leaps into the first verse. SoulSeason follows the metalcore traditions of mixing screams and guttural cries with clean vocals on the chorus. As demonstrated on both “Wither” and the followup, “Never Too Late to Die”, they do a good job blending the brutality of screaming with the high-note melodies of the choruses. “NTLtD” opens up with a softer rift, but is no less brutal than the prior song. The passion behind each line is apparent, even through the recordings. If “NTLtD” has one weakness, it is falling back on the other metalcore trope, of having a radio-sounding verse and guitar part, that makes its presence in a lot of other songs in the genre. It does not, however, stop this from being a killer song.
“New Horizons” starts out with a clean, almost acoustic guitar. This is a great backtrack, as the song is another monologue that pleads with you to take life into your own hands, and make your life, and dreams, happen. It is a great thematic tie-in to the subsequent track, “Digging Graves”, which bears trademarks and reminders of As Daylight Dies-era Killswitch Engage. This is certainly a good thing, as the song features powerful riffs, soaring vocals, and devastating screams. The similarity is carried into “The Forsaken,” with the main difference being that “The Forsaken” has a heavier emphasis on clean vocals than screams. “This Lovely Pain”, on the other hand, evokes early-era All That Remains with its instrumentation, starting with a clean guitar that persists throughout the song, even the heavier, more brutal parts. This creates a strong, but not unpleasant, dissonance in some of the screamed parts.
By the time we reach “Born Alive”, some of the metalcore influences of the album have faded. Parts of this song sound heavily influenced by the 2000’s nu metal movement, both vocally and instrumentally. This lends the song some distinction from the rest of the album, including a heavy, crunchy bass line. The song fades into another monologue, “The Sleeper”, which is again accompanied by both acoustic and clean guitars, before finishing the album out with a slower-paced screamer, “Killing Memories”. Despite being noticeably slower in places than the other metal tracks, this song is certainly no less energetic or heavy. The album starts out strong, and finishes just as strong, making sure it won’t kill any memories of listening to it.
In places, the vocals sometimes run in with the instruments, but overall, the mastering is well done. It listens great on both speakers and headphones, and parts of it will make you want to get up and mosh, so be careful not to knock anything over nearby. “Digging Graves” is certainly a highlight of the album, but it is overall an excellent release. The only time it is too late to die, is if you haven’t listened to this yet.
Grab it today over at CDBaby!