SoulBleed - Prophecy
Reviewer: Mujtaba M Badr - 2012-08-01
Highlights: Al Dajjal, Ark Of The Convenant
No live scene? That doesn’t mean that there is no scene! That is what the Jordanian metal scene continues to prove year after year. After a 2010 fueled with many new additions to the band list, new releases and old bands reforming. A 2010 that ended with the highly acclaimed Bouq’s album “Berserk” being released. And 2011 just seems to continues in the same vein, with SoulBleed reforming back in 2010, and starting a campaign promoting their next album “Prophecy”, which been described by the band as the “bomb that we'll smash people faces with.” and later they even teased the fans with the single “The Ninth Gate”. But one song does not always stand for the rest of the album, and the band members' opinion aren't valuable without us, the fans, hearing the entire record, and agreeing or disagreeing on their predicaments.
From the first look at the artistic Album Cover, your gonna feel that you are about to hear something brilliant, and you're gonna say; “Yeah! May be the band is right, it's gonna be a bomb.” and this feeling is going to grow as you further into the record.
SoulBleed ,in this album, take on a heavier sound than their first album “Echoes In Eternity”, from the first neck cracking riff you hear in “The Battle Of Aphek” until the outro of “Al Dajjal (The Fake Messiah)”, you’re mind is going to be blown away by great, well delivered blackened death metal. The album music serves as a musical journey/experience, in one song you'll find yourself overwhelmed by chaos; “Ark Of The Convenant”, and in another you'll be teased with an acoustic intro; “Al Dajjal (The Fake Messiah)”, or going through an instrumental passage like in “Those From Above”, but for the most of the time you are going to have a great meal of death metal that well satisfy and excite most of the genre's fans.
The whole band's sound has hugely developed since their debut album, it's not just that “Prophecy” is much better produced when compared to “Echoes In Eternity”, but the original band members; guitarist Nazzal and the drummer Mahmoud Tayem show great musical development and maturity when it comes to their sound. Nazzal's solos now are more intense and more technical, “The Ninth Gate” and “Ark Of The Convenant” are good examples of that. While Tayem's great drumming style remains mesmerizing throughout the entire record.
Another great thing is the addition of the new vocalist Mutasem, who shows a high level of professional work that amazed me to the level I didn’t believe that he is a newbie to the scene and that didn’t come from another band to lent his vocals to SoulBleed, as the band did in the first album.
The lyrics ,which are remarkably well written by Nazzal, stand out as another part of this journey, for you to enjoy the whole experience of this album you need to go through each song's lyrics to maximize the taste of this album's creativity, regardless if you agree or not with its theme.
All these great points don't mean that the album is flawless: Mustafa (bassist), another new addition to the line-up, his bass is covered by the loud guitars most of the time, the lyrics in the booklet have not been well edited and don’t stand up for their role which is an important part in this record.Yet SoulBleed have provided us a record with of high production value that goes hand in hand with the developments occuring in the region's metal scene. The album just needs more work on the guitars' sound quality to reach international releases' levels.
This is a really great album! But I can’t actually call it a bomb, since it doesn’t give us that much when it comes to originality, not even the perfect production that I am still waiting to hear coming from the local Jordanian bands. A production we started to hear in some other Middle-eastern metal scenes. I could give this album even a higher rating if it came out a year or two earlier, where such an album would have been considered cutting-edge. Still it is such a great start for 2011, SoulBleed , and last year's Bouq, had changed the standards of the Jordanian scene's production values. Any new bands would need to put these two bands' albums in mind while trying to do something new, and really help the development of the Jordanian metal scene.