Thursday, 11 August 2011

Soulburn - Feeding On Angels

Soulburn - Feeding On Angels (CENTURY MEDIA - LP 1998)
Here's a band, which is called Soulburn, but should really be called Asphyx. When the original Asphyx members did their own albums separately, but under this original moniker - Eric Daniels did his "Asphyx" LP and Bob Bagchus and Theo Loomans did "God Cries" and all three couldn't put something together as Asphyx, they decided to split up... And what have they done afterwards? Well, all three formed Soulburn and did demo in 1996. This demo is so rare that I would sell my kidney to get it... Then Theo died unfortunately and was replaced by Pentacle mainman, Wannes Gubbels, but again Bagchus and Daniels didn't decide to call the band Asphyx and kept playing as Soulburn. To me it just doesn't make sense - "Feeding On Angels", Soulburn's only full length album, has more in common with classic Asphyx sound than "God Cries" for instance. And nowadays I consider this album to be an important part of Asphyx legacy, even if it's called different.
Let's be honest - "Feeding On Angels" sounds very much like Asphyx, despite not being as doomy as the old Asphyx albums were, it's more of a mid paced playing, focused really on aggression and feeling, but some accents of this very classic asphyxiating slow and monumental playing remained in few tracks. As I said, the entire album is rather more mid paced, maybe with a slightly more death / thrashing feeling, similar to Pentacle also, as Wannes Gubbels' definitely brought something from his band. But even the production really reminds me of Asphyx's "Last One On Earth" LP for instance (they even used the same Harrows Studios in Holland) and also Wannes Gubbels' vocals are very, very similar to Martin van Drunen's shrieking voice. It's almost a deja-vu sense, when Wannes vomits the first lines of "Hellish Entrapment" and you just think it's the good old Martin's throat. But it's not and what's more - Wannes is that good, I don't even miss Martin.
And speaking of "Hellish Entrapment", this is great opener. The song is aggressive as hell and the riffs cut through the skin like razors (I love especially that more melodic riff in the instrumental part of the song at the end). Pure headbanger's holocaust. "Crypts of the Black" is also faster song (when listening to it I know now, where does Desaster takes most of their influences, as it sounds very similar to the Germans!). "Hymn of the Forsaken" is a hymn that could easily be from one of the early Asphyx albums, it's fairly slow, rhythmical... Really, it’s one of my favourites on the LP.
When side B of the vinyl starts, I'm a little surprised by the title track. It's slightly thrashing, again reminding me Desaster and Pentacle, but it's also quite melodic in some parts and the riffing is a bit different at one fragment. But it's cool anyway. Finally also Eric Daniels delivers some of his stunning mournful melodies in few songs, like "Storming Hordes" and "Throne of Hatred". And the album is closed by fantastic "Behold the Funeral Candle", one of the best songs on the album, again slightly slower (but it speeds up at the end) and played in classic Asphyx style, with Daniels' wonderful melodic guitar solo and really cool riffing.
So, as you can see there's plenty of good listening on "Feeing On Angels". I can't imagine someone, who's Asphyx fan, won't like the album. And in fact, I think it is better album than two previous Asphyx full lengths, so definitely one to recommend to every death metal maniac. I think the best proof for the quality of this album and strength of this line up is the fact that Bagchus / Daniels / Gubbels reformed Asphyx right after releasing this LP and recorded even better onslaught, "At the Wings of Inferno". Pure death metal slaughter. I recommend getting picture LP of "Feeding On Angels" especially, quite rare item nowadays. I'm happy to have one, which I show on the picture above and I must say it does sound really well. I also used to have a CD version few years ago, but sold it, when I bought the vinyl... The only shame is that there are no lyrics on any versions of the album... But well, you can't have everything.
Best tracks: "Hellish Entrapment", "Behold the Funeral Candle"
Final score: 80 / 100

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