Better than two years from their debut EP, UK's Soldierfield finally arrives with their first long player, Catharsis. Considering the time and wait, maybe the title has some underlying. Nevertheless, this is rather large, loud, and bombastic heavy metal.
Basically, most every song is a bristling riff monster, and the riffs are reinforced and punctuated a muscle-bound rhythm section. We're talking steroid overdose here. Heavy metal roid rage. Soldierfield's sound borders on modern metal harshness. Though not without melody and harmony, these are mostly crushed under the weight of the riffage. If it weren't for Leigh Oates' vocals, you might not catch the melody and harmony at all. In this light, the strongest and best song is the one at the start, The Light, and maybe Burn Bright.
It's not that the album is without some lighter moments. There's a mild start to both Ghosts and New Religion, and the latter has some slight breakdowns within. Also at the beginning of Nothing Left and the larger first half of Cut The Ties, which make you think that Soldierfield is trying to toy with you before they bring the hammer of riffage down once more. To be fair, the title cut forgoes all this for a simple ballad, voice over acoustic guitar. It's a welcome reprieve, but probably too little too late. Another thing conspicous by their near absence are the lead guitar solos. They are few, and easily missed. Why? That large bombastic riffage, again, kicks their ass.
Frankly, while I understand their sound, I'm still not sure what the band is going for with their sound. It seems rather one dimensional from that aforementioned riff and rhythm section combination that controls most everything. It seems like Soldierfield wants to have one foot in classic heavy metal, the other in modern metal, by being a tad more caustic in presentation. Maybe they aren't one dimensional, but scizophrenic. That would play out with some very interesting results in the future.
With Catharsis, most every song is a bristling riff monster, and the riffs are reinforced and punctuated a muscle-bound rhythm section. We're talking steroid overdose here. Heavy metal roid rage.
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