The Soulless

Isolated

Written by: AP on 04/10/2011 16:42:00

In retrospect it was probably for their own good that Ignominious Incarceration decided to change and simplify their name. But while the Soulless is certainly easier to remember, not to mention pronounce, as much cannot be said of the new musical direction undertaken on this second album, "Isolated". Whereas their debut album "Of Winter Born" demonstrated a capacity for independent thought seldom seen in contemporary British death metal, the Soulless now quite eponymously profess textbook metalcore leaning into melodic death metal, in the vein of Anterior and Unearth.

What you can expect to hear is a wealth of staccato based riffs, harmonized leads and syncopated breakdowns sequenced into predictable songs like "Unaltered" and "The Path", both of which sound eerily similar to August Burns Red in their least impressive moments. There is nothing wrong with the approach per se when inspected from a technical perspective - in fact, the instrumentation is at times quite impressive - but employed in such elementary song structures even solid musicianship cannot rescue "Isolated" from sounding hopelessly nondescript. The album is of the kind that provides moderate entertainment during its running time, but then instantly begins to fade from the listener's memory once it veers to an end.

"New Perspetive" and "Clones" for instance are the type of cannon fodder that every metalcore band spits out at least once during its career: decent, skillfully executed songs which nonetheless fail to produce that additional punch required for a listener to awaken from his/her habitually induced lull and rewind to check what it was that just struck out. "Unite Us" is as close as the album comes to such a revelation with its less archetypical riffs and rhythms and clean ending, but the overwhelming impression I have once "Without Heart" concludes the album is that these tunes are nothing but rehashed and monotonous.

Whereas "Of Winter Born" showcased a genuine knack for songwriting, "Isolated" finds a talented band in a state anything but isolated. Instead, mired in plagiarism, the Soulless come across as just that - soulless.

6

Download: Unaltered, The Path, Unite Us
For the fans of: Anterior, August Burns Red, Unearth
Listen: Facebook

Release date 16.05.2011
Earache Records

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