Review Summary: This is the sort of music that I crave, to be shown glimpses of another world, one where everything is beautiful, one where time stands still for the music and one where nothing matters except for the emotions running through your heart.
Music can evoke a lot of different feelings and atmospheres, beauty, awe, despair, fear, isolation, there is almost no feelings that I can think of which cannot be displayed in music. When done right, it is an art, it is epic, magnificent, heart-touching, words cannot describe how music touches the soul in a way nothing else does. So, ultimately, the goal for anyone who listens to any form of music in any genre is to find those bands, or just that one band even, that can touch their soul in a way nothing else can, to take them to other places in the atmosphere of the songs, to leave them awed, and to give them something special. Do Souldrainer fit in with these sorts of bands? Hell yes.
There are certain things that cannot be denied when you hear them, you just know if something is beautiful, it doesn't have to be beautiful for any one reason, it just is. Estatic Fear
's 'A Sombre Dance' was beautiful, Dissillusion
's 'Back to Times of Splendor' was beautiful, Reborn is beautiful. There is no reason for this music to give off this atmosphere, one could attribute it to the classical sound playing alongside the death metal, the amazingly heartfelt vocals, or the wonderfully crafted riffs, but when it comes down to it, not one of these things makes the music beautiful, it just is. With their debut album, Souldrainer have made a work of art, this is not simply music, it is so much more, it is not just melodic death metal, it is a work of art, a grand tapestry of emotions and colours, all being painted together to form one of the best albums this year, or in the past five years.
The guitarist paint the colours in a magnificently melodic way, from harmonized riffs to heavy pounding notes, they help create emotion through the music that is further highlighted by the epic choir in the background, every note is played from the heart, and they suit the atmosphere perfectly. But what makes the atmosphere is undoubtedly the choirs and the beautiful string arrangements that accompany the death metal brutality where ever it goes. What this creates is a mirage of emotions and feelings, each one suitable for the music being played at the time. In any one song there can be glimpses of fear, hope, despair, awe, everything, it is so unbelievably heartfelt that one cannot help but be utterly blown away after hearing it. With such a magnificent backdrop, the voice of the band has an incredibly hard job to do. Thankfully, they have one hell of a vocalist. If the music was emotional, the vocals suit it to a point that you can't imagine anyone else doing them, what he gives is a honest, powerful and epic performance that gives the music an even higher standard. There is so much emotion in his voice that you are moved without even realising it, he keeps the sane sort of style throughout the entire album, with the most difference being a hoarse shout rather than a death growl. But it does not matter, nothing else than that is needed, the choir backs him up throughout nearly every song, and too much change in his voice would disrupt the flow and harmony of this record.
Every song on the album has a reasonably slow tempo, at times, the music almost sounds like doom metal, but the moments where the band goes all out simply blow out any form of genre specification, for it is simply epic metal at those times, and one needs not confine it any further. If you were to label this though, it would be called melodic death/doom metal, but the almost gothic melodies and the epic classical arrangements contrast this wonderfully, and what you get is an album that never gets old. Every song has a moment that you can love, every song is driven emotionally by the powerful guitars and drumming, yet made completely different each time thanks to the classical sound which is so prevalent in their unique style. Although them being in their own unique place makes the music somewhat predictable, you will not care when you are listening to it, for what makes Reborn special is not that it keeps the listener on their toes with dynamic changes tempo shifts, no, that would be defeating the entire point of their music. What gives them their special brilliance is that what is played here is straight from the heart, this is some of the most emotionally driven music you will ever hear, and maybe that is what makes it so beautiful after all.
The band themselves state that their music gives off the feeling of dying violently in a beautiful way, and I can not give a more perfect summary than that no matter how hard I try, this album shows that there is still hope for a stagnating melodic death metal scene, and their are still bands out there who can truly create works of art. This is the sort of music that individuals like me crave, to be shown glimpses of another world, one where everything is beautiful, one where time stands still for the music, one where nothing matters except for the emotions running through your heart. Souldrainer have created that world, and I for one cannot wait for their next album where I can visit it yet again.