SoulSteal is a band from a rather “undiscovered” place on the map of heavy metal: Cyprus. The band formed in 2001 in the island’s capital city Nicosia. They have a demo Mirror is a Lonely Place (2009) and a spot on the Cyprus Metal Scene United (2011) compilation under their belts. January 2012 saw the band release their debut album Answers to Everything.
To be honest, I was a bit sceptical when I first pushed the play button to listen to Answers to Everything. The first thing I heard were some electronic beats with vocals on top and I thought: “ohhh we’re going to have another Morbid Angel album here!”. Don’t worry though, especially all of you Illud Divinum Insanus haters, Answers to Everything is a solid death-doom full-length. The first track “The Answer” may indeed have some electronic parts but you gotta keep an open mind, my friend. Right after the intro, the band dives straight into the doom-ish brutality with heavy-as-hell riffs and melodic guitar interludes. Throughout the album brutality and beauty is mixed (although I still find brutality beautiful…) as the vocalist/guitarist, Socrates, growls over the heavy-as-hell riffs and drum beats and then changes to clean vocals over the “beautiful” guitar melodies.
The second track, “Your Sunset”, is also very interesting. It starts off with mid-tempo drum beats and guitar riffs (which again is heavy-as-hell). The growling vocals, which can be heard on top, really fit in with the music. Shortly after, we have clean vocals with a clean guitar melody and then we go back again to the initial theme which provides the build up for the clean vocals to “fly” on top of the distorted guitars and heavy drums. Yes, that’s the feeling I get when I listen to this song; as ironic as it may sound, I feel as if it makes me fly and watch over this shameful world.
“Judicial” has some interesting guitar melodies, most of which are interludes. On “Allegiance” the band puts the metronome ov doom to a higher speed, turning the piece into more of a death metal track. “Everything” starts off with brutal beats (not blast-beats) which turn into a clean guitar melody and then back to the brutality we adore. I just love how they change from brutal parts into clean parts and back but also how they mix it together just like, for example, on the track “Judicial”. There’s something special about this band… On “A Word (Prior to Your Conviction)” I can hear some clear Septic Flesh influences! Take away the symphonic parts reminiscent of Septic Flesh, put an overdose of Katatonia (old & early) and put some SoulSteal originality here and there and you’ll know what the track sounds like.
The final track on the album “Refraction” is completely acoustic and instrumental. It is actually a perfect ending as it leaves you dumbfounded, thinking what you should be doing with your life; to get off your ass and stop listening to metal all day long. Nevertheless, you end up giving Answers to Everything another spin because you just realised how awesome the music was you just heard. That’s pretty amazing marketing skills from these talented Cypriots.
Answers to Everything tracklsiting:
1. The Answer
2. Your Sunset
6. A Word (Prior to Your Conviction)
Socrates – Guitars/Vocals
Soteris – Guitars
Marcus – Drums
Doros – Bass