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IF U AIN'T DYIN, U AIN'T TRYIN - 90%

Sharkuel, July 16th, 2017

One thing that I am digging a lot in the metal scene aside from kids making quality albums in their bedrooms, is that they are bringing the gaming community together with the metal community.

Okay, this is something that was around since gaming itself started to set it's roots in the nineties. Who doesn't remember playing Diablo and listening to Summoning? Yeah, those were the days.

Currently, there are some talented people making music that is centered on the lore of videogames. Shadow of Intent grabs on Halo lore and does some crushing deathcore. Sheogorath takes on the Elder Scrolls lore with it's thrashy black metal. And this band, Soulmass, is Darksouls/Demon's Souls based doom death metal.

This album doesn't follow a specific path. It starts with the quote from the Emerald Herald, when you meet her in Majula on Dark Souls 2, and from there, it blasts into a raging blackened death metal that makes you on your toes and gives you an impression of what's to come. It just continues to rage on to the second track until they reach the third one, where it slows down, but with the same crushing might as before. The overall atmosphere of the album is an homage to the gritty atmosphere you get in the video games. Recreate that with music is master level.

The vocal performance, by Astora's Sword, is the best thing in this album. It contains rage, it contains pain, melancholy, and it is constantly jumping between high pitch shrieks and low death metal growls. The production is raw, and it has a great old school feel to it. The best track to feel the sheer power of the band's rawness is "Scorpion Horror", where the track starts blasting at your face and it doesn't care if it hurts your feelings or not. This is a track that is meant to be the description of the madness a specific character has underwent, and oh boy, does it connect. Between the pounding drums, the crushing riffs, and the raging growls of this track, I dare to say this is the best track of the album, with "Chronicles of the Abysswalker" being a close second, with it's progression and awesome crushing melody, and a sad closure.

Even if you aren't into video games, you should spin this one. This is a great expression of death metal with black and doom elements thrown into the mix, and these kids should get more recognition because they are quite talented. You notice that the production quality of the album is average, and raw, but that is what it gives that old school death metal feel to it that I quite enjoy.

They are currently recording a new album, and they have shown some briefs in their youtube channel, and it is sounding even better. They, for sure, GIT GUD with time.