SOULIMAGE – Human Kind – Animal Mind
This sophomore offering by the man known as Rob E. Soul falls somewhere between synth-driven electro-rock and the self-titled record by Paradise Lost from 2005, which is to say that there are plenty of guitar-driven and heavy metal-esque elements to this 12-track album by Soulimage, but at the same time it all comes across as rather pop-like and easily accessible. The melodies are somewhat simple, the vocals get the job done in a convincing manner, and there is an underlying sense of melancholy to the majority of songs. Having said that, there are also loads of upbeat parts that add a touch of hope and light to the material, so all in all this strikes me as a nicely balanced and atmospheric piece of work. Quite a few of the tunes also bring to mind Gary Numan with respect to the vocal lines and the way in which the various layers of synthesizers and guitars complement each other, which is great. There are also nods to Nine Inch Nails and New Order throughout the disc, which is hardly surprising. The production is crisp and clear, and the album lacks neither power nor bombast. In other words, it sounds and feels loud in an anthemic and stadium-sized kind of way, and that definitely works in its favor as it turns the whole thing into a punchy affair with a sense of determination to it.
"Human Kind – Animal Mind" is not exactly remarkable, but it is instantly catchy and there is a lot to like about. It may not be one for the history books as it does not push the envelope or bring anything new to the table as such, but the tracks are well-written and the record as a whole is solid and an enjoyable listen. I really do wish that there were some truly brilliant and exceptionally cool songs to be found on it, but that is not the case, which is my main gripe with it. It never really takes off completely and blows you the fuck away. Still, it is consistent and never loses its focus or momentum, and one can also tell that Rob put a lot of thought and emotion into the lyrics, which is certainly commendable. For a teaser, check “Children of Tomorrow” or “Welcome to Your Own Dirt” out.