Saturday, May 26, 2012

Soils of Fate: Sandstorm v. Soils of Fate: Crime Syndicate

I have not done one of these faceoff posts for awhile, not since the last slam week in fact.  So here's one, since I recently added both Soils of Fate albums to my collection.  Since we are talking Soils of Fate against Soils of Fate, picking a better album is not going to be easy.  But here it goes anyway.

The debut album from Sweden's impressive slam death metal band was released in 2001.  The band is a little divisive due to their somewhat thuggish image, just look at the band picture on the Metal Archives for an idea.  Soils of Fate establish their reliance on rhythm early on in this album.  While it is not as pronounced as on their second release, the band clearly shows some rap influence.  The Goodfellas samples early on are definitely entertaining.  The vocalist also experiments with some raplike vocals here and there.  Soils of Fate do throw in some impressively fast songs here, most notably the title track.  To switch things up a bit occasionally, Soils of Fate do throw in some decent, if short, guitar solos.

If I did not know any better, looking at the album cover and song titles, I would assume this was a rap album.  Seriously, when was the last time you saw a metal album with a song title like "Killaz Beware"?  This is groove-laden slam death metal with several instances of raplike vocals delivered in a grunting death metal style.  Sgt. D used to refer a lot to "wigger slam", something of a derisive term for slam death that clearly has a lot of rap influence.  Well, here is a good example.  There are breakdowns that sound very similar to rap songs in which the vocalist does his death-rap thing.  This album is as close to a rap album as slam death metal can possibly get.  I bet you never expected to see that sentence in writing.  The most impressive moment comes in "Vs." when Ruben Rosas of Devourment shows up for some exceptionally brutal roaring vocals.  They also do a decent job of covering Suffocation on the final track.

THE VERDICT:  It is clear from the debut album what Soils of Fate were attempting to do, which is slam death influenced by rap.  They perfected it on their second album.  The second album is probably my favorite based on the more complete ideas here.

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