Review by Allan on February 26, 2003.
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the hardcore genre is just a tad too full. A tad? Scratch that. The hardcore genre is overflowing with unnecessary bands that might as well call it quits or start writing something a little more groundbreaking. Most bands aren’t even cracking the ice, so I don’t be expecting anybody to break it anytime soon. Soul Embraced, another one of those hardcore bands, are stuck right in the middle of all this. Their follow-up to their 2002 debut “This Is My Blood,” their new album, “Immune,” is simply a continuation of that mediocrity that plagues too many bands.
Most people will really dig “Immune.” After all, what’s stopped them before? Soul Embraced have about three-fourths of the whole picture, but that’s not enough. Here’s what it breaks down into for Soul Embraced: thick, rolling powerchord progressions, occasional clean vocals, hardcore screams, the occasional melodic lead, and a melodic edge, including the ever-famous Swedish melodic-death influence. What’s new? Nothing. Granted, some of these riffs will absolutely rock your socks off. So, for whatever that’s worth, take it. But really, I need a little bit more flavor in my tea before I go and brew another batch of it.
I’m probably being far too hard on Soul Embraced. Actually, I am. ‘Someone Just Walked Across My Grave’ is an absolute killer with its menacing feel and powerful riffs, ‘Existence In Despair’ is filled with a nice dual-guitar lead, and you certainly won’t find me complaining too much about ‘On Your Own’ or ‘I Bury You.’ Soul Embraced are just kind of a hit or miss band.
Bottom Line: Not terrible by any means, however, “Immune” is one of those albums that is on the borderline and lacks enough to make it an album that you would listen to more than occasionally. Worth a look for fans of Living Sacrifice, a band of which a few of Soul Embraced’s members are from.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 6.7 out of 10