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Limelight Oct 3rd

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Soothsayer | ‘The Soothsayer’

Just what’s going on at the moment in the Irish underground?

It seems the cobwebs have well and truly been blown off some years of water treading. Bands are starting to be really, really adventurous again.

Yes, all scenes ebb and flow. It’s a cycle. But what Soothsayer are doing here is indicative of perhaps a new high water mark of ingenuity, and a fresh hunger.

One of the best things about it is it’s immediate and almost offensive refusal to be categorized. Soothsayer’s basic formulation is an edgy, sharp and metallic doom, but done roughly and with vigour.

The mournful twin guitar sighing that lingers over the plainly superb opener ‘Unveil Them’ just drips with ‘Lamentation’s-era Solstice, while a clear influence from Trouble pervades it.

But heritage doom is most certainly is not. The brutality and force of Liam Hughes’ vocals make this a much more violent affair. There’s a ripping, snatching quality to them that allows you to really hear the anger behind them.

What’s also delicious is the bands unorthodox tones and styles. The guitars aren’t as heavy as they might be, with the solo in ‘Unveil Them’ using a weird old chorus effect. It’s the kind of jangly oddity you’d maybe expect from Virus or Morbus Chron.

Elsewhere I’m certain there are influences creeping in from our own Malthusian, albeit not as obscure and cavernously toned.

’33 From The Sun’ reminds me a bit of class Irish doom act Brigantia, and it’s nice backing vocal ‘aaaahs’ and ‘oooohs’ add real atmosphere. This track as well takes a lateral diversion, going the complete opposite of where you might have expected it, while Liam’s bellowed croons in the back add great drama.

It’s a vast twelve minute feat.

The brilliantly named ‘Lunar Correspondence’ (seriously, 10/10 track name) is the heaviest on here, a snail’s pace doom-death standard that reeks of October Tide, and perhaps, by extension, Katatonia’s very first works, steeped as they were in a supernaturally doomed atmosphere.

There’s a distinct nod to Graveyard Dirt in it too, not to mention Candlemass without the histrionics. And then – out of nowhere – a blazing blastbeat to carry it through to the finish that is pure Altar Of Plagues. It’s incredible.

This band are on fire with this release, which is complemented by fantastic art and the real sense that they know exactly what they’re at.

It’ll be no time before this is picked up, and rightly so. ‘The Soothsayer’ is an invigorating release that shows these guys live and breathe this music – there can be no other genesis from such authentic dark atmospheres, steeped in the spirit of the underground.

It sounds wrapped in cold smoke, sodden with mood and a certain resident darkness. Brilliant stuff altogether.

4.3 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 25/10/15

  1. I’ve seen these guys about 3 times live including their first gig. The progression every time is unreal. Looking forward to hearing this.

  2. I was about to say the same, Leo.
    The evolution of the band and these tracks played live over the last year or more is amazing.

    Can’t wait for the launch gig in a few weeks.

  3. Eoin McLove Says:

    The music sounds cool but the vocals ruin it for me. Too modern hardcore-ish. I think they sit uneasily with the tone of the song.

  4. resonant paddy Says:

    Yea the vocals seem a bit out of place alright, music is savage tho. Some great harmonies.

  5. Knowing Liam, modern hardcore-ish vocals are about as far removed as you could possibly get from where he’s coming from. Get a real sense that these lads are gonna do alright for themselves, they’ve come a long way really quickly.

  6. Defo dont get modern hardcore across the release in any way at all – they’re brutal, and yes that’s different from the more ‘classy’ style of the music – but that’s one of the most intriguing parts of the mixture for me.

  7. Rob Uaigneach Says:

    They are really great live. Liam is an exceptional frontman and I couldn’t imagine any other style of vocals working with this music.

  8. It’s immature of me but every time I see the picture linking this article on the front page… Well, it’s just a little unfortunate.

  9. Phillip Penny Says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard Liam’s voice since I was about 4… ked you’re an absolute legend!!!

  10. If memory serves me well, this band opened for Solstafir this year in the cyprus avenue cork?. I was really impressed with them after that. Great live band, and a great presence to the front man. But…, it sounds a little strained vocally for me here, something i didnt feel hearing it live. The whole package reminds me of Enchantment, a doom band in mid 90s. They had a stellar album “Dance the marble naked” released, also with a hardcore growler. But the difference is he was able to soften it when needed. This is the only thing missing here i think. But great effort all the same. I’ll be supporting the band anyway. Well done

  11. reminds me of graveyard for some reason. also, I dont get a hardcore vibe off the vocals at all either. this is excellent.

  12. graveyard dirt*

  13. an_slua_sidhe Says:

    Savage stuff from the lads!
    Like people have said, they’ve really progressed live over the last year or so. Some interesting new layers and harmonies in here that weren’t obvious live. Lovely artwork. I’ll be picking up a copy at the launch night, gan dabht!

  14. I’d have to agree with Andy about the vocals. A bit shouty for the music. It’s decent enough, although I wouldn’t be creaming myself over it.

  15. BobbytheBuzz Says:

    Liking the sound of this…great songs, great production!

  16. Class. Any gigs up north?

  17. keeper of kalessin Says:

    cheers for the comments lads.
    no plans for a gig up north as yet but hopefully in the near future… would like to gig this about the country.

  18. Unkindness Of Ravens Says:

    Cool. Love the sound 🙂

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