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Review: Lined – Soulcrifice

by Miloš Šebalj

 

Lined – Soulcrifice

1. Bad Omen
2. Rotten Society
3. Buried Alive
4. Nowhere to Run
5. Slaves
6. Devil
7. Still Outdated
8. Parasite
9. Betrayed
10. The Reaper
11. Soulcrifice

Label: Art Gates Records
Date: June 12, 2020

Little can be found about this Spanish five piece online. Only the bare essentials I can find on the CD itself. They formed the band back in 2007, changed its name the very next year, and published a self-titled debut in 2009. I sincerely doubt they have been extensively touring for a whole decade on just one album. Why the long pause I have no idea.

Here I am presenting their sophomore record. Interesting wordplay in the title got me thinking. On the other hand, the band’s name told me nothing. And the absolutely generic song titles made me think this will be another one of those projects that worship clichés beyond good taste. Fortunately, there is some good music under the nicely done (though a bit too digitalised) cover.

To be totally fair, this is nothing new or unheard. Still, it is done with a decent dose of fresh energy and ideas. Lined goes for a modern way of performing death/thrash metal. With a lot of melodic passages which do not dull the blade of the original genre. Not even a little bit. Strangely enough, I often find myself thinking of Children of Bodom while going through “Soulcrifice”. Without the keyboards of course, but those harmonies the Spaniards use so often are quite reminiscent of the famed Finns. Yet, most of the album is composed by use of traditional means. Concretely speaking, those thrashing rhythms and melodic death metal riffing. Also, some of the more modern thrash guitars rear their filthy heads now and then. Vocals again bring me back to Alexi Laiho. The whole rhythmic of singing is so similar, as is the tone of Aitor’s voice.

Lined do not lack musical skills. And they use them well, wherever they need. The focus is still on the songs themselves and creating them as catchy as possible. Thus they managed memorable tunes, as well as a certain showcase of their skills. If you pay attention to any individual instrument you will surely notice how each and every one of them has its own time and place to play around. This way the dynamic of the record is lifted to another level, allowing the listener to follow though easily.

However, then I came to the last track. A short instrumental which should serve as an outro. You tell me if I’m wrong, but do you hear Metallica’s “Orion” in some parts of the song? Quite similar if you ask me.

Anyway, “Soulcrifice” falls short of outstanding. There is not much on this record that will absolutely amaze you. Especially if you come from an older generation of metal fans. Still, it is a good, up to date album. Much more imaginative than most of their contemporaries. The past decade has done them well. Let’s hope the next one bring an even better material.

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