SOUL RAPE – Endless Reign
When it comes to progressive music of any type, a key element needs to be continuity. Too many acts these days try to throw multiple nuances into their veritable style, and as a result sound too confused and unsure of what they want to accomplish. Italy’s Soul Rape hope to synthesize aspects of death, thrash, black, and heavy metal into their obvious progressive outlook for their debut album "Endless Reign". What this means to the listener is dual growling/ clean vocals- the latter verging on semi-falsetto, blast beats against deep double bass and then shuffling power grooves or time signature changes within a moment’s notice, plus riffing and lead work that has an equal variance meets wow factor.
The band can be exotic in their instrumental framework right out of the gate for the title track a la Cynic or Death, but then throw down some serious old school thrash chops, combining the intensity of At the Gates with the technical skill of Coroner on the follow up "Like the Serpent’s Tongue". Bassist Guglio gets a little bass spotlight during the jazzier break for "With My Fingers I’ve Touched Death", a number that has a lot of chill bump elements in terms of the whispering vocals and dual guitar harmonies underneath. "Gargoyles" on the other hand is an 8:45 song that has a lot of the Nevermore/ Metallica like chops and power necessary to become a future audience favorite, lead guitarist Larry handling the caustic growls in more of an Atheist meets Death template, filling the instrumental space with solid arpeggios and tapping workouts.
I think "Endless Reign" shows Soul Rape are heading in a great direction, as they only need to smooth out a couple of weaknesses in terms of the out of place clean falsettos (not convincing to these ears) and the future could look bright for this progressive oriented death/thrash act. Not too technical and adding in the right narrative/ cinematic aspects, Soul Rape is a band for those who have a deep history in the genre of heavy metal.