Soul Embraced - Fleshless (CD demo) 1999
Suffer No More" (3:37)
Killer demo CD that I got in an internet trade. Since I am not a huge follower of the whole death genre, I didn't even realize this demo existed. Still, cool to have and a nice collector's disc. Musically, has that aggressive, straight forward death metal/thrash sound that is fast becoming an endangered species in today's metal scene. This is the direction that Living Sacrifice should have gone, rather than metalcore.
Soul Embraced - For the Incomplete (Clenched Fist) 2001
1. "Unborn" (3:30)
Hmmm...pretty heavy death metal platter here, but there are also hints of metalcore. That is not to say that this disc sucks. Actually it's pretty darn brutal and most of the riffs are quite infectious. Throw on "Unborn" and see if it doesn't throw you into spontaneous fits of headbanging rage. However, let's just hope that this CD is not an indication of a downward spiral into nu-metal and metalcore. This version of the disc quickly went out of print due to the fact that Clenched Fist went out of business. Fortunately another record company picked it up, re-released it with a far superior cover and a couple of bonus tracks.
Soul Embraced - This Is My Blood (Solid State) 2002
1. "Lead Away"
Being a side project of Living Sacrifice drummer Lance Garvin and guitarist Rocky I was expecting something akin to the metalcore that Living Sacrifice has been cranking out in recent years. Fortunately, however, this CD sounds more like what I would expect from Living Sacrifice than any of Living Sacrifice's more recent releases. Soul Embraced are pure, grinding death metal that is brutal, yet somehow comes off as somewhat melodic. There are hints of other styles of metal within each song, but none of it is metalcore or hardcore. (Thank God!) The vocals are typical of the genre, but Chad Moore, still manages to enunciate enough to make out most of the lyrics. Occassionally Chad mixes in some clean vocals and some higher pitched black metal growls to mix things up, which certainly ads to the interest for me. I grow tired of hearing the same old monotone death growls without any variation. The music for the most part is mid-paced and not so fast or chaotic that the rhythms can't be distinguished. Songs like "Helpless in Whither" are musically much closer to thrash metal with it's infectious riffs than to anything death metal. However the death vocals take the brutality factor up a notch. The other thing about this disc, and probably my main reason for liking it, is that Soul Embraced know how to write a hook. I wouldn't say that there are a whole lot of vocal hooks, anthems or catchy choruses, but the music has a quality that will keep any fan of metal listening and coming back for more. Here's to more metal like this and less metalcore from Lance and Rocky.
Soul Embraced - Immune (Solid State) 2003
1. "Immune to Emotion"
Hmmm, Soul Embraced move even further away from the death metal label and are now taking one a metalcore or nu-metal flavor. Vocalist Chad Moore still has the demonic-sounding vocal style of a death or black metal vocalist, but the music is totally not death metal. Rocky Gray's songwriting and riff has taken on a sound that would not be out of place on a Korn, Sevendust, Disturbed or Nothingface album. I know, ICK! Well really, it isn't that bad. Despite all the stop-start, chugging riffs, there is actually some melody mixed in not unlike Sevendust. However, unlike Sevendust the vocals are not melodic and are quite contrasting making Soul Embraced less commercially accessible.