Soul Survivor (Reissue)

Gorefest

It was five years after the brutal debut "Mindloss", down the stretch releasing two more […]
April 6, 2015
Gorefest - Soul Survivor (Reissue) album cover

It was five years after the brutal debut "Mindloss", down the stretch releasing two more albums "False" and "Erase". The latter actually began a chain reaction that burst into full bloom in the next in line, "Soul Survivor". That period of the Dutch GOREFEST wasn't overly different than other Death Metal bands along the line, crossing the mid 90's with a salvo of changes. For example the British BENEDICTION from an old school Death Metal monster because a corporation of American style Groove Metal and if you will survey the history of extreme bands in the 90's I bet that you will find more than a handful of examples of the same manner. No, you can't solely blame the 90's for that. What happened with GOREFEST and its apparent evolutionary process, according to sources, was due to lack of ideas and a clearly distant influence of one of its prime members that eventually became the band's reality. In contrast to BENEDICTION, GOREFEST became a bit similar to what CARCASS turned to in "Swansong", a kind of Death N' Roll.

Boudewijn Bonebakker, GOREFEST's lead guitarist, took the role of the band's shepherd, and diverting his passion towards vintage 70's Hard Rock into the entity of the band's music. "Soul Survivor" was created as such while leaving a small taste of the old Death Metal spike thanks to Jan-Chris De Koeijer's semi growls and vibrato snarls. Frankly, it was rather hard to shake the thought of De Koeijer actually trying to sing over these 70's inspired Hard Rock riffs, his voice sure changed a lot since the debut. However, the pattern had been evident as years went by. In order to get into the atmosphere of the past, Rene Merkelback was recruited to emphasize the rather stony, yet stirring, vibe of several of the tunes by playing an organ, piano and Mellotron.

Throughout the record, aspirations for DEEP PURPLE, THIN LIZZY, UFO and a little of AC/DC will become relatively transparent but in a somewhat gruesome manner to at least fit closer to the band's symbolism. Moreover, in comparison to what I heard previously on "Erase", GOREFEST's songs on "Soul Survivor" felt marginally accessible, smoother and also memorable other than being semi-technicians. Possibly the only technical display was due to Bonebakker passionate lead guitar melodies and nostalgically made soloing, using the wah wah pedal here and there to capture a bit more heart to his notes. In comparison to the band's early guitar riffs, the fast paced tremolos and the Death inked malevolence was all but gone for Rock N' Roll to set its tone. No wonder that the band was able to gather new fans from other circles. Nevertheless, some of the riffery presented is still heavier enough to chew and find comfort in. Honestly, being a fan of the band's Death Metal era didn't necessarily draw me away from this album. I found a fine line of tunes that served me right such as the blasting darkened "Demon Seed", basic heavy mud stomper "Blood Is Thick", groove chug classic Rock into Metal made "Soul Survivor" and also favored the Rock drenched bonus tracker, "Tired Moon".

Metal Mind Productions, following the reissue of the debut "Mindloss" along with the band's early demos, shot out this fine reissue of "Soul Survivor" packed up with the album's own demos and several bonuses for additional pleasure. Even if totally peculiar than their past, "Soul Survivor" is quite solid as its run for the classic age of Rock is neatly done. The follow up "Chapter 13", which was reissued in the same package as this here release, shall continue the story.
 

7 / 10

Good

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"Soul Survivor (Reissue)" Track-listing:

1. Freedom
2. Forty Shades
3. River
4. Electric Poet
5. Soul Survivor
6. Blood Is Thick
7. Dog Day
8. Demon Seed
9. Chameleon
10. Dragon Man
11. Freedom
12. Tired Moon
13. Goddess in Black
14. Soul Survivor (Demo)
15. Electric Poet (Demo)
16. River (Demo)
17. Frozen (Demo)
18. Chameleon (Instrumental)
19. Freedom (Instrumental)

Gorefest Lineup:

Jan-Chris De Koeijer - Bass / Vocals
Ed Warby - Drums
Frank Harthoorn - Guitars
Boudewijn Bonebakker - Lead Guitars
Rene Merkelback - Organ / Mellotron / Piano

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