My Dividing Line

Written by: TL on 07/05/2007 00:55:22

People who rant about how genres like emo and poppunk are oversaturated with mediocre bands need to take a good long look at the pile of promos we receive every month. If there is any genre that is oversaturated with bands that seem to blend into one huge gray mass of nothing, it most certainly has to be metal, in particular the sub genres power and death metal as well as metalcore.

Unfortunately for Swedish Soulbreach it is hardly coincidence that motivates me to start the review of their debut album "My Dividing Line" this way. Opener "A Figment Of Truth" might fool you in the beginning with it's thrashy riff but pretty soon, it becomes clear that we're dealing with pretty conventional Swedish melodic death metal here. The band doesn't leave anything to be desired in terms of aggresion during the verses, as vocalist Daniel Andersson clearly masters the raw vocal-delivery that seems to go hand in hand with music of this style. During the choruses things are spiced up, somewhere with a more clean style and in other places simply with some backup vocals, while the breakdowns usually sports an almost growling sound. Quite predictably this is all accompanied by the constant duelling of the bands two guitarists, shifting in and out of your average typical awesome guitarsolos.

In the middle of the album this is all interrupted for a spell by the title track that is, guess what, an acoustic interlude. If you're a frequent reader of my reviews (I love you), you will be quite familiar with my contempt for the concept. I seriously do not see why a perfectly good metal record has to be broken in half by some lame attempt at adding some kind of fancy atmospheric feel to it. Everyone with ears can tell that stuff like this is good old fashioned, straight forward, balls out metal, so why oh why must it be dressed up as something it is not in this annoying way? Who out there buys a metal record and actually feel grateful for these tracks? It makes no sense!

Now I should be thankful that after this annoying de-tour, the actual content resumes just where it left of, but somehow I am not. You see I've listened to this album countless times now, and I still have trouble telling the songs apart, and that's just never a good thing. I hate having to be this harsh with a band that, just like metal bands usually do, fuckin' rule their instruments in a way that seems superhuman to an ordinary mortal like me, but in that lies the exact problem. In todays metal scene, being instrumentally proficient simply does not cut it. If you want to catch someones attention you absolutely have to create your own unique recognizeable identity, and unfortunately, that is not something Soulbreach have been even remotely capable of on their debut. It's not that they offend anyone by being horrible, far from it, they definetely know what they're doing. It's just that I'm not even that big of a metal listener, and even I have heard this kind of stuff a thousand times before.


Download: Skin Deep, Disjointed
For the fans of: This Ending, Absence, In Flames
Listen: MySpace

Release Date 19.03.2007
Mascot Records
Provided by Target ApS

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