Initially, I was wary about reviewing an album from a country not normally associated with heavy metal but this band really surprised me. Soul Sacrifice is a four piece metal band from Istanbul, Turkey. The group was founded in 1997 and after a few initial lineup changes, became a solid act in 2003. This current lineup (Ozgur Ozkan – vocals, Feyzi Ocak – Guitar, Maksim Kyrykoolu – Guitar, Onur Akca – Drums) has been actively playing for eight years, releasing their debut album in 2005, “Stranded Hate”.
These musicians play like seasoned veterans they are, and unlike most debut releases; they accommodate and complement each other consistently throughout the album.
The songs are all original, utilizing complex metal riffs mixed with Turkish instruments, synthetic beats, and other sounds that really keep your attention. Much thought has been put into the track order because the album flows so well, opening with the fast paced tunes, Hallow Cold and Blind, saving the slower grinding songs, like Once More and My Sea, for the end of the album where they can be better appreciated by the listener.
The vocals have a wide range. Some songs are sung with straight vocals, peppered with death blasts, while others are sung exclusively as death metal. The majority of the songs are sung in English.
The music itself can be described as a unique combination of power metal and death metal, featuring mind blowing guitar solos over epic riffs, when combined with the death vocals the music is unrivaled.
The sound quality of the album is better than average. Every intro is clear and crisp, the drums, bass lines, guitars and vocals are completely represented here and are a pleasure to the ear.
The lyrical content is adequate throughout the album dealing with issues, such as death, loss, everyday frustrations and ones own destiny.
To surmise, I can’t say enough good things about Soul Sacrifice. Stranded Hate is a very interesting release with a lot of replay ability. The music should appeal to fans of death metal and power metal fans that prefer their music with a bite.
The band has a new album coming out soon entitled “Carpe Mortem”. The advance tracks available for the new album truly rival the excellence found on “Stranded Hate”, making it a highly anticipated 2nd release.
On a final note, while trying to track down an original copy of “Stranded Hate” on compact disc I discovered that the original record company that released the album has since gone out of business and the group currently has no record deal in place to re-release this album. Hopefully, this can be rectified soon. Metal is for the masses and this is a group that deserves a chance to shine. \m/
“Stranded Hate” tracklisting:
1. Hallow Cold
3. Cocuk Bahçesi
5. So Wild and Insane
7. Once More
8. My Sea
9. Vision of Misery
Soul Sacrifice are:
Özgür Özkan : Vocals & Bass Guitar
Feyzi Ocak : Guitars
Maksim Kırıkoğlu : Guitars
Onur Akça : Drums