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Well executed death metal - 85%

natrix, January 24th, 2008

I can't beleive that no one has reviewed any of Soulreaper's work yet. I originally checked these guys out because of Tobias' and Johan's work with Dissection, and I was pretty stunned that they sound nothing like Dissection. What we've got here is death metal with a few blackended touches and excellent musicianship. Only the end of "Slow Fall of Death" hearkens back to the Dissection days, and that sounds quite a bit like the end of "In the Cold Winds of Nowhere."

Soulreaper certainly sheds most of their back ground in black metal on this one, as the songs lean more towards death metal in the vein of Morbid Angel and Behemoth. But Soulreaper's got their own approach, which is not nearly as blastingly fast, allowing more thrash influences to shine through. This luckily keeps the songs memorable and fresh. I love both of the aforementioned bands, but sometimes the blasting of Behemoth loses me. Though the guitars mostly follow each other, they sometimes use brief moments of counterpoint to emphasize certain sections. A few guitar solos pop up, but they're really brief and well composed.

Tobias is an excellent drummer, and he really smokes on every song. No triggered drums, just pure power, and this man certainly knows how to use fill effectively. It's a real shame that he didn't do more with Dissection!

Vocalist Christofer Hjerten is the other stand out. He's got a very maniacal voice, dripping with hatred. He sounds like a cross between Masse Broberg (on Osculum Obscenum) and David Vincent, but nowhere nearly as unconrolled and insane as the former.

Despite this, the second half of the album doesn't stand up quite as well as the first half. "Godless Reaper of Souls" rips your face off with speed and a few appropriate mid paced sections, and hell, the chorus is almost catchy. "Static Darkness" has one fucking monster of a heavy riff, groovy but malevolent sounding, and absolutely crushing. With the doom vocals over the sludge riff near the end, it really stands out as the best song on the album. "LifErazer" may be a goofy title, but this one follows the pattern of "Godless Reaper of Souls," with the slower sections alternating to snap your neck and grind your bones with heavy riffing. The Morbid Angel cover at the end is nice, and I have to say that Soulreaper execute excellently.

For the price this thing is going for, it's really worth checking out (I got it used for $1 on Amazon), even just to get a glimpse of what Tobias and Johan did after Dissection. Hell, even on its own, LifErazer stands pretty tall.