Review: “Into The Mouth of Hell” by Sold Soul

Mixed and mastered by Alexander “Sashko” Khod, North Carolina’s Sold Soul bring Melodic Deathcore that promises stories of hate, hell, and hopelessness across nine tracks with five guest vocalists.

“Preface to Damnation” is an atmosphere building epic instrumental piece. A cycling primative programmed pattern is build upon with layers of eerie synths and occasional open drum fills that create something which belongs on the soundtrack to a Science Fiction Horror film. “A Voyage Through River Styx” features the first guest vocal appearance from Niko Apostolakis of Until We Die. It picks up where in introduction ends and throws us into a mix of whirlwind kit work and pummelling guitar breakdowns. The high contrast in the vocals, a deep gutteral roar that doesn’t quite reach slam levels at times and a higher pitched tone similar to Dani Filth of Cradle of Filth creates the perfect contrast as Deathcore reaches out and touches Death Metal. “The Son of Perdition” features probably the biggest name of the guest vocalists in CJ McCreery of Lorna Shore and formerly Signs of the Swarm. The lyric video which appeared prior to the albums release will no doubt have drawn many to the band and it’s pallette cleansing opening soon gets wiped clean by the onslaught of the pair of vocalists doing their finest demonic work. The high quality of the production and mix mean that every element is given plenty of space to shine through. The drums sound fresh and clean. The guitars have plenty of bite and the bass thuds like a wrecking ball smashing walls on a building site. When the vocals do reach slam or grindcore levels they’re coupled with a slower breakdown to match.

“Gnarled Horns” is the first song on the album not to feature a guest vocalist and frankly, it doesn’t need it. Pummelling Traitors-esq guitar work that fuses Deathcore with some more technical and even DJent leaning elements is fantastic. The backing of a tornado like piece of drumming with whirlwind fills and huge crash hits is simply stunning. The slow down to deliver a dark and atmospheric synth and lead guitar piece gives everything a painted black feel. Blast beats galore in what is quintessentially a Black Metal track in “The Beast of Gevaudan” which features Greg Gilbert of Shrine of Malice, is a joy to behold. The brutal unclean vocals continue so shine but the storytelling lyrics also give much more. A surprise solo towards the end of the song give it a final piece of magic and really demonstrate the bands high quality musicianship. Sadly the song cuts at the end like a demon being sucked into a vortex rather than being given the chance to fade away, but it’s a minor point. The second tune to not feature a guest is “Severed Tongues”. After an eerie, tension building opening, the first verse delivers a pacey hit before dropping off into downtempo grooves that allow the vocals oceans of space. As the story is told lyrically the tension is held to perfection.

“Harrowing, His Calls to the Void” keeps the same tension level while featuring some prize lead guitar flourishes that lift everything to the next level. The fusion of the ‘core elements with the Black Metal style is executed to perfection. Some pummelling bass guitar work is matched by the incredible kit work and a bass solo of sorts in an interesting choice. The “Blegh!” Isn’t usually associated with the genre on display but it’s a welcome addition as is the the incredible tapping section. “Dread Father” features Multi-Instrumentalist Cameron McBride of Methwitch fame and is perhaps the most surprising of the guest choices. Some of the trademark Methwitch elements are in brought to the table with some phenomenal Black Metal across swaithes of breakdowns. Some might get caught off guard by the off kilter intro riffage but the freight train is not long in charging through the red lights breakdowns and blast beats pummelling every in sight and leaving nothing but dust in its wake. The album closes out with an alternative version of “The Son of Perdition” that features Ben Mason of Bound in Fear. Which may seem like overkill to some but it works well and offers a fair amount in contrast to the original version. By the end of the track you come to realise that this version is so good, it could easily be swapped with the other and no-one would be any the wiser [9/10]

Tracklisting

1. “Preface to Damnation”
2. “A Voyage Through River Styx” (Ft. Niko Apostolakis of Until We Die)
3. “The Son of Perdition” (Ft. CJ McCreery of Lorna Shore, ex-Signs of the Swarm)
4. “Gnarled Horns”
5. “The Beast of Gevaudan” (Ft. Greg Gilbert of Shrine of Malice)
6. “Severed Tongues”
7. “Harrowing, His Calls to the Void”
8. “Dread Father” (Ft. Cameron McBride of Methwitch)
9. “The Son of Perdition” (Alternate Version ft. Ben Mason of Bound in Fear)

“Into The Mouth of Hell” by Sold Soul is available over at bandcamp.

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