Review Of Soul Sanctuary’s Debut Album “Afterlife”
Soul Sanctuary is a six piece alternative metal band from England and we’ve been keeping our eyes on them since the initial interview that they had with HeadbangToday.com! Afterlife is Soul Sanctuary’s debut album and was produced, engineered, written, sung (screamed), mixed and mastered by one of their lead vocalists Luke Gibson. Heavily talented to bring us quality heavy metal! Their demo tracks grew onto me like a parasite, tapping into the host’s brain, convincing me that this will be an album worthy of purchase. So there I had it. I bought “Afterlife” and waited in great inticipation for its arrival. Upon receiving it, I popped it in and the only thing that kept coming to mind while listening to the entire album twice in a row was “REVIEW” – This album deserves and demands a review that will contain my thoughts and feelings that streams throughout my mind as the tracks play along. The album explodes with the very first track after which the album is named (or vice versa) “Afterlife“. The intro of “Afterlife” itself already gave me a sense of what I can expect from the rest of the tracks with it’s brain-vibrating screaming, fast paced drumming and ground-breaking riffs. The song well put together with very nice polish that will ensure you the overall quality of the album. It has a beautiful guitar solo backed up with heavy riffing and contains two very apocolyptic-sounding breakdowns near the end which eventually leads to a nice steady decline of solid screaming which halts after the song’s trademark drumbeat. Game Of Conviction is the second track on their album which reminds me very much of Sevendust with it’s coarse backing vocals and short-bursts of combined musical excellence. It contains yet another beautiful solo which is carried by fast metal drumbeats and kick-ass riffing. The melodic vocals and screaming compliments eachother well in this song which is something not many bands in my experience can get the hang of with two vocalists. Afterlife’s third track is called Destiny. A new song that I haven’t heard from Soul Sanctuary before while I was enjoying all their demo tracks prior to the album’s release. It’s chorusses finnish themselves off with decent fast and well composed riffs. Another outstanding solo has managed to embed itself into this song. Their guitarists Ed Stevens and Anthony Montague have really done amazing work with their talents and have put it to a good use. The melodic bass notes serves as a perfect backbone to the song. Killing Time, the album’s fourth track kicks off with heavy growling and excells towards slow heavy riffs with the drummer crashing his symbols timeously with the heavy riffing. A song that also proves that whispers and screams can be equally powerful. A brilliant guitar solo electrifies you towards heavy growling followed by a very fast and funky, funk, drum & bass-like bass slapping solo. This song is the shit. Track no. 5 is Packaged To Sell. It’s been a personal all-time favourite since I heard the demo version. Some have said that the screaming vocals sound a lot like that of Slipknot’s Corey Taylor… I’ll have to disagree slightly, but I have to give it to Soul Sanctuary. Their screams/growls are indeed pretty awesome! Luke Gibson does an excellent job in his vocal work. I like the way the two vocalists have come up with using melodic singing combined with screaming and packaged it into a pretty heavy album – to sell. The sixth track called Reflections starts off with a chilled accoustic riff and decent melodic singing from both vocalists. The song then eventually progresses into nice heavy alternative rock and rocks on until it declines back into its accoustic state. A perfect blend. I can see this type of song being played on national radio here in South Africa. It’s probably one of Soul Sanctuary’s ‘safest’ songs to be commercialised and released for local radio airtime. Number 7 – Scars Of You, was added to the album for probably no other reason but to show off each band members’ talent in their own respective department! Eardrum-tampering screams, decent melodic singing, another amazing solo, cool bass tunes with solid riffs and tight drumming is rarely heard of in one song! Their lyrics cover personal experiences from the singer’s perspective which a lot of fans can generally relate to. I remember once seeing someone post something to Soul Sanctuary, telling them that Road Runner Records will never sign them because of their “Emo Singing”. He even went on to compare Megadeth’s lyrics with Soul Sanctuary’s… Well, I disagree. It’s a well-known fact that Dave Mustane from Megadeth’s lyrics are usually just plain silly. Soul Sanctuary has managed to produce their own album and although a label such as Road Runner Records would be benificial to the band’s future, R.R. simply aren’t aware of Soul Sanctuary’s material just yet. Who knows? Maybe these record label giants will notice them after a second album? I don’t even need to review the rest of Afterlife’s tracks! So I will keep them under wraps until you unwrap your own self-bought christmas prezzie and pop “Afterlife” into your system. It’s an outstanding album, perfectly composed by an exceptionally talented band that deserves to be a part of any metal head’s music collection.
Afterlife is a music masterpiece considering the fact that it is Soul Sanctuary’s debut album of which the quality of the produced tracks are superb. It’s jam-packed with beautifully unique guitar solos, heavy riffs, funky bass riffs and heavy screaming combined with excellent melodic singing. I would kill to see these guys live and I anticipate future releases from them. I can’t even begin to imagine what Soul Sanctuary will evolve into.
1010 metal horns m/
Enough said. Now go get the album – www.soulsanctuarymusic.com