If you like your death metal old school, HEAVY, Slow, grim and not very vurtuose here is one for you. With Dutch members that already earned their stripes in ao. Asphyx, LOTD, Flesh Made Sin and Grand Supreme Bloodcourt things almost can’t go wrong. Twan van Geel his possessed sounding vocals and the very effective drumming of Bob Bagchus combined with the heavy riffing of Remco Kraft and Eric Daniels give the music a rather original sound.
After a fast opener with black metal influences eighties style (Venom, Celtic Frost) a very slow doom track follows. Here you can hear some Asphyx influences, but also old Bathory elements give the song form. Throughout the album the riffs sound rather obscure and repetetive, but that is the strength of the music. Sometimes it is better to keep it rather simple and keep focused on writing good songs. The perfect example for that is “Sprited Asunder”, a very atmospheric track with a static tempo. With “Howling At the Heart Of Death” the slow tempo holds on, especially in the first and last part of the song the tempo almost slows down to Winter tempo. “As Cold As Heavens Slain” is a very fast old school black metal track in the same style as the opener. Also in this song Bob proves that you don’t need to use blastbeats to make death/black metal more interesting. Soulburn shows that combining old school black metal with slower parts Asphyx style works very effective. The album also has the perfect sound; heavy, brutal but still with the typical old school black metal sound.
If Immortal, Rimfrost, Celtic Frost, Venom, Mayhem, Bathory and Asphyx would write an album you probably get this kind of music. Another good point is that Soulburn found the perfect balance between slow and fast parts. Pure doom parts varied with pure old school black metal (“The Torch”). The only weak point on the album is the closing track, which isn’t a song anyway, just some sounds with spoken parts. There will sure be an idea behind it, but for me they could have skipped it.
The question for all our readers is: What are you going to do on 18 November? Buy this album or spend your money on another release?
01. Where Splendid Corpses Are Towering Towards the Sun
02. The Blood Ascendent
03. Howling At the Heart Of Death
04. As Cold As Heavens Slain
05. Withering Nights
06. The Torch
07. Spirited Asunder
08. Diary Of A Reaper
Playing time: 46:00
Release date: 18 November 2016
Label: Century Media