Sunday, May 16, 2004

Review: Soulkeep - Chant of the Vipers (2002)

Chant of the Vipers

Soulkeep is a young band from Madison, WI that delivers a substantial punch in the form of traditionally inspired modern thrash. Citing influences like Black Sabbath and Megadeth, the band incorporates plenty of classic metal riffs and leads into their debut EP Chant Of The Vipers. They also embrace many of the modern thrash elements perfected by bands such as Nevermore and Shadows Fall, keeping their sound fresh.

The two tracks that stand out above the rest on Chant Of The Vipers are "Forevermore" and "Rage". The opening riffs of "Forevermore" are pure classic thrash, backed up by singer Dean Gehrmann sounding a bit like Dave Mustaine. Rob Parkinson belts out fiery licks along with the driving riffs and delivers a mighty fine solo. Toby Hull thunders behind the kit while the bass of Matt Nagel is just right in the mix. "Rage" mixes in a few sound bites from the film The Prophecy among the heaviest riffs on the disc. Gehrmann again sounds a bit like Mustaine, but spews the choruses in a raw snarl that befits the title of the song. The leads from Parkinson are outstanding in their complexity.

Being that this is Soulkeep's first recording, it's not surprising to find the band to be a bit loose. They experiment with melody and frequent time changes, and with a bit more work in the studio I'm sure they'll discover what fits best for them. The musicians have the talent, Gehrmann has the vocal ability, and they all have the passion to succeed. Chant Of The Vipers is just the first step on what I'm sure will be an accomplished journey.

Track Listing
1 Forevermore 4:57
2 Script Of A Thousand Lies 6:25
3 Rage 4:22
4 Ex Obliveone 7:20
5 Abandoned 5:44

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