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- Agonys Lament
Yet another band with the word ‘Soul’ in their name. Guys! Check on the net BEFORE you pick a band name! A quick search on the net revealed thirty (yes, 30) hard rock/metal bands with the word Soul in their band name. It’s been done to death and there is a Brazilian band called Soulless already. The genre is competitive enough without potentially shooting yourself in the foot by aligning your name too closely with a bunch of other bands. However, I’m most fans will be able to tell them apart.
The first non-Japanese band on the Japanese World Chaos label and what a band! These American’s absolutely rip. This five piece act hails from Ohio, (the epi-center of American metal?) and have classic written all over them...literally! There are several band photos and they sport various t-shirts by Black Sabbath, Testament, Destructor, Judas Priest, DBC, Razor, Voivod, Motorhead and others.
The packaging is gorgeous and eye catching. The cover is really cool. There is a victim being impaled and suspended by chains which has been done many times before, but the cool thing is the colour scheme. It is done in yellow, which you don’t usually see in metal very often. The art was done by Max Cavotta, (http://www.cavotta.com). He has done the cover art for a couple of other underground death/thrash bands. I hope to see his gorgeous work more often. There are lots of notes, photos and full lyrics. Excellent presentation!
Sonically these guys have the ability to reduce you to ash. A blitzkrieg of speed and savagery, with riff after riff, wave after wave of relentless shredding. Not surprising as there are two lead guitarists who share the spotlight quite equally. The vocals of Jim Luppucci and spat forth with venom and hostility. He is responsible for the lyrics too which might explain the vocal intensity. I’ve felt that a singer who is singing his own words can deliver them with a little more heartfelt conviction.
The production is quite modern but not really the Gothenburg sound. The mix is nice, everything is clear and loud and there a few studio tricks here and there to spice up the proceedings. The drumming is fast but not blast beats or constant double kicks making this is for a good head-banging record. This disc has ten great songs, catchy as hell without descending into mediocrity driven by keyboards for example.
A true, straight-ahead thrash record for those who agonize and lament that classic thrash is no longer produced. This one is for the unbelievers!
It's hard not to compare Mr. Lippucci's vocals to Death's late-great frontman Chuck Schuldiner, as he spits words out with piss and vile that adds a splendid intensity to the music. And while these guys are no doubt a thrash band, I hear subtle influences from other modern metal acts like Cradle of Filth and the melodic death scene. These influences are much milder, but they are there and assist in making an all around successful album.
As much as I like this album, there really isn't much else to say. It would be pointless to go down track by track telling you what I think about them, because they are all awesome. I only hope that this band continues to get more and more attention, (and hopefully they'll make their way to NYC to play a few gigs, I don't like feeling jealous of Cleveland, for Satan's sake!) as they truly deserve it. Should you go out of your way to buy it? Only if you like well-written, well-produced, well-presented kick-ass metal. One word review: Blistering. Metal
words and Bloody Knuckles #64
Mark Gromen 7.5
- Agony´s Lament (World Chaos Prod.~2002)
deliver us heavy stuff, based on the rhythm patterns of RAZOR's "Decibles"
album, with brutal riffs, like one knows from DESTRUCTION's "The
Antichrist" album, alike the melody understanding of elder Swedish
bands like AT THE GATES or CENTINEX. Partly they slightly integrate
newer KREATOR and INFERNÄL MAJESTY in their "None Shäll
Defy"-period, which rounds the album off. The crown of this mixture
are the vocals, which sounds like a combination of Darren Travis (SADUS)
and Schmier (DESTRUCTION). (Online March 24, 2003)
that is, it's a cool album to listen to, even if it's not that transcendental,
and that the singer could be a little bit better. But well done guys…
(Online May 5, 2003)
THRASH! And fucking awesome thrash it is! I'm disappointed, but only in the fact that I knew about these guys and the accolades bestowed upon them, and never took time to check them out. Agony's Lament is this Ohio quintet's second album, following up 1999's much-lauded The Darkening of Days, released on the increasingly impressive Japanese label, WorldChaos.
Where to fucking start?! SOULLESS is a "supergroup" in the truest sense, created by musicians from other Ohio-based acts, most of which are fairly well known outside the area. The present line-up boasts the majority of the godly ALL THAT IS EVIL (what are they doing these days?) and is completed by the bassist from the now-defunct DESCENSION, ASCENSION.
Jim Lippucci's throat-work here is along the lines of latter-day Chuck Schuldiner--mid-range but more coarse and, of course, faster to keep up with the raging music. Chris Dora, whom you may know from his astounding skinsmanship in BLOODSICK, ALL THAT IS EVIL, DECREPIT and tons of others, performs flawlessly--amazingly smooth time changes and lots technical variation, all aided by a sharp, solid sound quality. The drum style he plays for SOULLESS brings to mind Dave Lombardo, but a touch more technical. Jim Corrick and Wayne Richards (both ATIE alumni) complement each other perfectly and throw in just enough melody and harmony to keep things interesting without crossing the line into Swedish wank-world. Dave Johnson's work on the bass geetar and chemistry with Dora leaves little to complain about.
Classy in every respect, Agony's Lament is a ten-song slab of absolutely lethal death/thrash, bursting with a primal urgency and raw fury. This is the kind of quality metal that makes me want to move up north. I don't say it often, but something that definitely applies in the case of SOULLESS: buy or fucking die! THE DEVIL TAKE MY SOUL!!
the latest signings for the Japanese label WorldChaos is the American
combo Soulless. Quiet frankly, I haven’t heard a band from the
USA that sounds like Soulless. This Cleveland, Ohio based quintet is
an excellent mixture of death and thrash metal, resulting with a product
that could easily be mistaken for one of Gothenburg bands. As they do
admit, some of their influences include Swedish bands like In Flames,
The Haunted and Arch Enemy, as well as Sodom, Kreator, Slayer and Celtic
Frost (and they’ll always get cheers from me for wearing Testament,
Razor and DBC T-shirts).
in 1997, under the name Bloodsick, the band changed the name to Soulless
in '98 and recorded the
a good thrash album. I really like it. In some way it reminds me of
At The Gates. Brutal, upspeeded but still with good melodies. Favourite
track are -Agonies-!
Now we're talking! Finally a really inspiring thrash release that blows wannabees like The Haunted to kingdome gone! This Americans assault us with razorsharp riffing, tormented screams of anguish and a VERY heavy rhythm-section. Most important though, they write very memorable high-speed thrash tunes that although highly inspired by the heroes of the past manages to keep an identity of their own. A must for all thrash freaks, nuff said!! 8/10 - Gustafson
You’d think that a country like the USA has enough opportunities for bands to find a decent record contract. Ohio-based SOULLESS found their fortune in Japan though when they signed with World Chaos Production, for the release of their newest record, “Agony’s Lament”. The history of the band goes beyond 1997, when the name was still BLOODSICK, but a change in line-up and thereby change in musical style caused the members to continue under a new moniker. Since then one album called “The Darkening Of Days” was released, as well as a MP3.com only Mini-CD and a promo, which eventually led to the signing of the band.
The biography compares SOULLESS to bands like AT THE GATES, THE HAUNTED and CARNAL FORGE, and there is indeed no discussion about the style of the band: Death/ Thrash Metal with a huge stress on the Thrash part. Although I hear quite a few AT THE GATES-like riffs, SOULLESS sounds the least like this band, apart from the maniacal shrieking vocals that are rather comparable. All the comparisons aside, “Agony’s Lament” is a solid Thrash Metal recording, with typical catchy riffs and a very high replay-value. By keeping the songs very diverse the ten tracks all have an identity of their own, which makes the complete recording a joyous experience. Of course there are always one or two tracks that stick out, which in my opinion are “Terror Of Twilight” and the awesome closer “The Fleet Of Fury”.
An American band on a Japanese label playing Swedish Thrash Metal, does that work out? If they’re called SOULLESS, hell yeah! This CD has been out for a few months now, so it should be available by now. There are a few tracks on their website, so if you’re into melodic Swedish Thrash Metal check the band out! This band deserves the attention!
Nightmare Web Zine
Here we have an American Trash metal band Soulless, courtesy of WorldChaos Production who brought us the excellent thrash album from King's Evil(Read the review here) earlier this year.
Thrash metal is what these guys play for sure and they sure have the chops for it. They also have incorporated what I call certain Swedish Metal concepts ala The Haunted or At The Gates, which is weird when you think about it cause these very Swedish Metal concepts that I speak off got some of their ideas from some fantastic American metal bands, hhhhmmmmm, a vicious cycle i guess..............
Back to the matter at hand, the band (with some of its members having been around since '97 and were part of another band called Bloodsick, a band formed in the spirit of vintage 80's and 90's thrash metal who also released one 7", a split with Nunslaughter back in '96)truly display some excellent thrash moments,there are some sections here that would kick you hard, like the riff that comes in at the 1:45 mark on the second trcak called Agonies after which it pummels you further with more speed, combining multiple riffing, snarling vocals, and a drummer who is an all out maniac producing music that is totally uncompromising and not too mention aggressive. This my friends is what thrash metal is all about. Lament is another fucker of a song that has riffs that i fucking guarrantee will have you swearing your life by thrash and thrash alone. Has to be my favourite track on this album.There is some great song writing here, in the thrash vein that is not too mention some great riffing, check out the track Terror of Twilight which is a great song in itself and which seems to switch gears effortless, mindfucking you one minute with its speed, then its fucking groove and then its slowed doom like pace before the twin guitar solos kick in. Downward has an old fashioned feel in its opening riff which i loved which then incorporates a melody of sorts in the next phrase, afterwhich it switches to some solid melodic death riffing before it switches back to a great thrash riff for the first guitar solo to run over. The track Exile has probably one of the best kick offs to a song I have heard in a long time and a great harmonized riff which sticks out at about 2:20.Well I could go on and on about which parts are cool and which parts would and sure as hell fucking rip you a new one on any given sunday or day of the week for that matter but trust me there plenty of such parts.
The band is phenomenal as a whole, Jim Corrick(guitar) and Wayne Richards(guitar) have cooked up some incredible riffs that have shows an understanding of thrash and meshing with other forms of metal riffing, souping up Trash Metal as a whole for the new millenium. Dave Johnson(bass) is so prevalent with his bass lines standing side by side with the guitars. Chris Dora(drums) as I have said before is a maniac, all fucking speed and aggression thrash style, fuck yeah!!!!!!Jim Lippucci(vocals) has done a great job here, spitting fury and a snarl I have to say is truly unique and to top it off, has penned some great lyrics.
Recorded at the THE MARS Recording with Bill Koreckey, the production is clear with all the instruments very clearly audible and well balanced. The guitars were crisp and edgy while the drums seemed to have been mixed trying to balance both old school thrash kit sound and new school drum sounds which was pulled off pretty decently. I porbably only have a problem with the way the CD was mastered which I think at some points my actually sound like its cracking or distorting on headphones and by the way I review all CDs here at The MetalVault with my Alesis Masterlink and Senheisser HD600 headphones
Either way its great that we got all these new bands and some of the old bands so to say, bringing back thrash metal, putting the glory back in thrash metal again. And its especially great when its done as well as this whats more is that these guys have only recently been signed up by a label which was surprising cause there so much quality here, quality that should definitely be heard by the rest of the metal world.
Overall: 9 out of 10
magazine # 17
YESSS !!!! I like to review that kind of crushing album ! SOULLESS comes from the USA and delivers some really powerfull and ass-kicking thrash metal of a pretty high quality. One of the positive points of this band is that it doesn't spoil thrash rythms and riffs with any modern US-power sounding, and that's very appreciable from a young American band. On the contrary, the music has an old-school thrash metal basis -reminding bands such as KREATOR or SODOM- peppered with today's tunes reminding swedish bands like SOILWORK, ARCH ENEMY or WITCHERY. The results are ten tracks for (only) 34 minutes which should please to every single thrash metal fan, that means the album contains each ingredient such a record may needs: Huge rythm section, razorblade-like solos and riffs, powerful throat-cutting vocals which sounds not far from the voice used by Chuck Schuldiner on DEATH's albums. So there's nothing else to add, the rest is on the record itself. Lend an ear, you won't be disappointed !
The history of this U.S. thrash metal band started in 1997 when they (that time they were called Bloodsick) released a 7” split with the band Nunslaughter.After some line-up changes came an evolution of the band’s sound and a new band name.In 1999 they released their first demo-cd “The Darkness Of Days”.That same year they also appeared on Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne tribute cd’s (Dwell Records).They played a lot of gigs with other bands, recorded songs for other Dwell Records tribute cd’s and recorded a new 3 song promo-cd. In 2002 they started recording their first full-length cd and they were offered a record deal by World Chaos Production from Japan.At the end of 2002 World Chaos Production released Soulless’ 10 song cd “Agony’s Lament”.The sound of Soulless is a combination of the hooks and angry vocals of 80’s thrash metal bands like Kreator, Slayer and Celtic Frost with the aggression and darkness of today’s heaviest bands like In Flames, Arch Enemy and Unleashed.”Agony’s Lament” is a 34 minutes long full-speed ahead thrash metal assault!
by Ronny Elst (2003)
eigentlich geschrieben, dass Thrash Metal Scheiben unappetitliche Cover
haben müssen? Und wo steht geschrieben, dass der Sänger wie
eine angestochene Sau ins Mikro zu brüllen hat? Man weiß
es nicht genau. Aber zum Glück sind diese beiden Punkte auch schon
die gesamte anzubringende Kritik an "Agony´s Lament".
Ansonsten spielen die Amis (übrigens das erste außerjapanische
Signing des Worldchaos Labels) lupenreinen Thrash Metal, wie man ihn
in seinem brutalen Vorwärtsstreben und seiner rasenden Intensität
lange nicht gehört hat. Dabei thrasht man nicht in alter Bay Area
Manier (trotz vieler Old School Einflüsse), sondern hat die skandinavische
Schule mit technisch besserer Gitarrenarbeit, coolen Leads und gnadenlosem
Rhythmusgeholze aufgepeppt. Die Produktion drückt den harschen
Sound fett aus den Boxen, und trotz der allgegenwärtigen Dauerattacke
kann man die Klasse der Musiker klar erkennen. Ist auch kein Kunststück,
wenn man bedenkt, dass die meisten Bandmitglieder seit Mitte der Neunziger
im Metal involviert sind. Ein Vorgängerprojekt waren BLOODSICK,
die mit NUNSLAUGHTER eine Split-Single vorweisen konnten. Ein gutes
Beispiel für die Klasse der Songs und ein klarer Anspieltipp ist
"Terror Of Twilight". Nach einer Minute Überschall wird
gegroovt, dann das Tempo in den Doom Bereich reduziert, um dann das
schönste SOULLESS-Trademark auszupacken: die doppelläufigen
Gitarrensoli, die jeder Power Metal Band gut zu Gesicht stehen würden.
Thrash Metal Fans können hier nichts falsch machen.
Beyond web-zine Belgium
Il suffit d'entrevoir leur jolie petite frimousse pour piger que nos amis ne nous emmènent pas au " Pays des Merveilles ". Et effectivement, une fois la lecture du disque lancée, c'est parti (mon kiki) pour une grosse demi-heure de bon Death Metal bien gras et bien puissant ! Ce qui me plaît ici, c'est que ça ressemble vachement à l'excellent " Spiritual Healing " de Death. Des guitares qui shreddent à fond, un tapis rythmique hyper précis reposant sur tempos moyens, parfois un peu linéaires, mais toujours lourds et efficaces... Et puis, il y a la voix de Jim Lippucci... Quand on l'entend, on ne peut s'empêcher de penser à Chuck Schuldiner ! Bizarrement, je retrouve également quelques influences suédoises dans le jeu de nos amis, qui nous viennent pourtant des States... Enfin, on est à l'époque des brassages en tous genres ; y'a donc pas vraiment de quoi s'étonner plus que ça... Si ça continue les Chinois nous joueront du Black à la Norvégienne et les Esquimaux se mettront au Bay Area Thrash dans leurs igloos... De toute manière, une chose nous réunira toujours, quelles que soient nos différences : la passion que nous cultivons pour la musique qui tanne à donf ! Il ne nous reste plus qu'à remercier Soulless pour m'avoir inspiré à ce point ! Merci messieurs.
sind ein Five Piece, kommen aus Cleveland, Ohio und sind GEIL!!! Die
prügeln ab, als wenn es kein morgen mehr gibt. Im Grunde spielen
die Amis Thrash der an At the Gates mit jeder Menge old school erinnert.
Old School heißt bei Soulless, Razor oder Dark Angel. Das machen
die Fünf sehr perfekt, da jibbet nix! Innovativ gleich null aber
erfrischend, weil voller Energie! Die 10 Tracks gehen leider zu schnell
vorbei aber es gibt eine Repeattaste. Um noch mal auf oben zurück
zukommen: At The Gates Einflüsse, weil die Burschen ihre Gitarren
teilweise rasend bearbeiten aber die Melodie dabei nicht aus den Augen
verlieren und Old School, weil Tracks wie „Empty Deadness“
auch auf „Time does not Heal“ hätte stehen können
und „Bleeding Darkness“ auf „Open Hostillity“.
Das Schlagzeug erinnert auch an Razor, da immer straight und geradeaus.
Keine Schnörkel, keine unnötigen, albernen Breaks, immer auf
die Nülle! Coole Scheibe die dazu Top produziert ist, ein schickes
Cover hat und jetzt nicht lachen, in einem Jutesäckchen mit World
Chaos und Soulless Logo daherkommt. DAS nenn ich innovativ! Fette Idee
der japanischen Plattenfirma, die anscheinend auf dem Vormarsch ist
und schon mit Terror Squad und Grim Force (RIP) ebenfalls geile Thrash
Acts am Start hat(te). Ich schätze mal, ich werde mich der Bande
für die nächste Ausgabe mal annehmen, wenn sie denn Bock haben.
Soweit gilt mal für alle qualitätsbewussten Thrasher, denen
die neue The Haunted zu „komisch“ ist und die anderen At
The Gates Clowns zu albern sind: ZUSCHLAGEN!!!!!!! In diesen Sinne:
Suffer The Fury!
Before Time Zine
Magazine / Records
- AGONY'S LAMENT NOTA: 9.5