VOICE OF THE SOUL – Catacombs
Ever since I saw Sam Dunn’s Global Metal in 2010, I’ve been on the lookout for bands from across the globe, and when I stumbled across the email from Dubai based death metal act Voice Of The Soul, I was quite curious to see the development of extreme metal in the Middle East, and see the musical output of what my ex-home from 15 years ago has produced (Nervecell notwithstanding).
Formed in Kuwait in 2007, Voice of the Soul’s debut full length Catacombs follows in the footsteps of three earlier EPs – a righteous slab of melodic death metal (in development) with just the right amount of technicality and sycopations in the vein of Dark Tranquillity with dabs of Gojira, Arsis and Swallow The Sun.
The full length consists of 9 tracks; beginning with the intro ‘Desolation,’ the album behaves like a very fluid living, breathing sentient organism, with tracks seamlessly weaving into the next. ‘Pendulum’ and ‘Quarantine,’ one after the other form a double whammy of the two best tracks in the album, although the follow-up ‘Cold Rupture’ is a damp squib – akin to Anathema but less tastefully done. ‘Perdition’ didn’t do much to move me, but the entire album comes together with the last ‘Images Subside.’ There is no doubt about the technical prowess of the musicians though – the drumming is crisp and well-composed (a dying art in metal today) and the riffing is spot on. My biggest gripe is with the vocals – linear and one-dimensional devoid of emotion and tonal variations. It’s great in short doses but over an entire album, it gets lost in the noise. This is not to say that the album is flawed – there are several high points and a lot of potential for future releases. I’d be looking forward to watch them live if the chance comes along.