Souldrainer
Architect

Sometimes a band has subtle nuanced influences in their chose sound. Sometimes bands are a little more obvious in wearing their influences on their sleeves, and sometimes as in the case of Sweden’s Souldrainer, they say ‘fuck you,  here’s the band we love and we are going to sound exactly like them’.

For Souldrainer,  a band featuring ex Aeon member Marcus Edvardsson, that influence is Hypocrisy, and if you want to break it down to an even more specific sound, look no further than 1996’s Abducted and 1999s self titled effort. Souldrainer make no bones about their influence but they do it rather well. Big, crunchy but melodic guitars, space-y snyths, mid range rasps, a couple of moody ballads and a whole lot of Sc-fi/UFO/abduction/paranormal obsession make up the band’s third album, and while it’s a blatant Hypocrisy clone (clone seem more fitting here than rip off)  it’s still pretty enjoyable due to some strong song writing.

Using “Roswell 47” as kind of a backbone for the whole album’s sound, Architect crunches with gleeful energy and a huge, robust production. The album is generally mid paced songs with a few slower emotive numbers akin to “When the Candle Fades” or “Slippin’ Away” from Abducted and the title track from The Fourth Dimension. But regardless of the obvious frame of reference, there are just some downright good tunes here, good simple, catchy head bopping and foot tapping riffs and slightly clean sung choruses amid the rasps just come together.

The album isn’t going to win any prizes for originality or album of the year, but you can’t deny the solid likes of openers “Biological Experiments” or “Behind the Face”. The title track delivers the first slower, somber number the first of  a handful that bring a little more atmosphere to the proceedings followed by equally moody “This Release”, then and later by ‘Turn Your Back”.  ‘Die or Surrender” offers a more stern crunch while “For No Other” is a nice little melodic trot. “Nightmare Abduction”, as the title would suggest,  is pure Abducted/Hypocrisy/The Fourth Dimension era Hypocrisy, down the the chorus. “I Am the One” picks up the pace a bit before expected, orchestra laced ballad “Sorgestjarna” closes out the album fittingly.

Again- no album of the year contender here, but I’ve been giving it an awful lot of play time (it sounds great on a big stereo/speaker system rather than an ipod), and it will hold you over until Hypocrisy release another album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
June 2nd, 2014

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