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Excellent and pure underground - 99%

phooey, February 11th, 2017
Written based on this version: 1997, Independent

The main characteristic of this debut album is the gloomy unsettling atmosphere combined with intense riffing and aggression, I would say. As you listen to it, you get a feeling of carried away by fierce cosmic vortex. Song structures are conventional to metal, and at the same time they are not. The unforeseen touches and elements are often embedded, like organ solos or bass melodies spiking in the mix, different from guitar parts. Bass guitar sound particularly clicks here in there, somewhat reminding me the bass sound on Cynic's "Focus".

Ceremonially pompous keyboards and great drumming, pain-filled and sharp vocal growls...every detail fits perfectly. Erratic and monumental solos provided by the main man behind the band - Ivan "Yasya" Peresh. Keyboard parts deserve a special mention as well. It adds a kind of 'baroque' feel and eerie grandeur to songs. Variety of techniques, sounds, melody and fierceness of performance is what the band can be proud of on this record. The feel of classical music should also be mentioned, as at times it feels like songs are classical overtures/orchestrations complemented by rock instruments.

The pace throughout the record is fast and energized, all songs sound dynamic and never boring... not one. Dark, malicious and groovy. The sound in general is refined and REAL, as there was no digital stuff or computers used back then. And you would believe it had you been to Soulrest gigs circa 1997-2000. Those guys were young and hungry for music and expression. The band proved its maturity and skillfulness on all albums that followed.

The album is unique in its own way. It flows through your mind, it streams though space and time it seems. Soulrest didn't follow any established metal genre formulas. Naming similar acts to compare with would be inaccurate and unfair, though some may point out resemblance to Pestilence or Nocturnus...that probably applies more to later Soulrest's works. Some may say it is progressive death metal, which could be also right, as band's approach is surely unconventional on their debut.

Lyrically, songs present a personalized commentary on humanist issues, social injustice and the darker side of man. All lyrics composed by then singer nicknamed "Carcass" by the way. To call this album a demo, in my opinion, is somewhat unfair, as sound production is great, unlike many metal demos. Total time is 37 minutes encompassing 8 diverse songs. To the pity of fans and band itself, it never got released by a decent label and didn't receive fame as it should have.

Progressive / technical death metal at its best!
Recommended to every real death metal fan, especially for those digging out hidden treasures.

10/10