MetalBite Review by Michael on 6/8/2001
Being the second release from ex-In Flames
tour guitarist Niclas Engelin‘s band, Gardenian
couldn’t help but attract attention. At deservedly so, these four young metallers from Sweden know how to play! Containing all the elements that make the Swedish ‘Melodic Death’ scene so well known around the world, "Soulburner"
dishes out spoonfuls of excellent guitar riffs, technical drumming and gut wrenching vocals.
Like most bands, with "Soulburner"
were still perfecting their own sound, adding their own elements to the pre existing genre. But to take nothing away from them, this is a fantastic CD. The guitar lines rock. Every riff is guaranteed to get your head moving ("Soulburner"
rates highly on my HBA scale!). From classic layered metal anthems to seriously heavy and generally pretty technical grooves. Before you start panicking... we have some great solo’s here!! The drums are also a stand out. Thim Blom is an excellent and solid drummer. He does some fantastic kick drum work and his patterns and fills are top notch. The bass is also solid as a rock, it sits beautifully with the kick drum and together they form an ultra-tight backbone. Unlike on Gardenian’s
brilliant latest release "Sindustries"
Kim Kjell opted not to attempt clean vocals and turned to the bands long time friend (and brilliant vocalist) Erik Hawk to take care of these parts. And what a job he does... his classic 80’s style metal voice really works well with Kim‘s deep screaming voice. I think Kim has the... I can only describe it as the ‘thickest’ and most nicely distorted screaming voice in modern metal. His range is unbelievable... from superb low growls to amazingly high screams he can do the lot (and now we know he can sing too!!!). For those of you who don’t know Gardenian
, Kim plays guitar as well as sings... and we all know just how hard that is, especially playing this style of music. So big commendations there. The vocal lines are great and the lyrics suit the sentiment perfectly. Also, in the track ‘Powertool’
have experimented with some clean female vocals in the chorus with an excellent result. The contrast between Kim’s roar and the soft female vocal part is great. The production is pretty good. Nothing on "Sindustries"
, but everything is audible, clean and pretty smoothly produced. The only thing I felt it was slightly lacking in was bottom end... but those of you who own "Sindustries"
will be well aware that the band has sorted that little glitch out!! All in all this is a great album.
Without a doubt, the awesome ‘Chaos in Flesh’
How can I say this... just buy the fucking CD!!
out of 10