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  This is My Blood 
Artist: Soul Embraced
Label: Solid State Records

For all you Living Sacrifice fans out there, looking for something to tide you over until they release a follow up to The Hammering Process, don't look to Soul Embraced for that replacement. Yeah, sure, Rocky and Lance make up 2/3 of this outfit, but they aren't repeating their work with Bruce and Company. This Is My Blood is much closer to a straight death metal feel. All the necessary elements are there; low growls, pounding double bass, and post-apocalyptic song titles and lyrics. The album was originally released by indie metal label Clenched Fist Records, which should make the band's musical approach clear.

I really like this album. It is a very solid release of some brutally heavy death metal. It's great to hear Rocky flex his chops. It seems that he has a little more freedom to let his metal roots flow. Lance is a machine, with almost constant double bass footwork and sticks that are all over the set. Chad Moore's vocals both excite and terrify. The songs' lyrics have a mysterious quality to them that all real metal songs do, invoking a sense that you've become a poet just by reading them.

This band could tour with anything Metal Blade Records has to offer, holding their own musically and shining a beacon of hope onto a dark world. The really cool thing about this band is that Soul Embraced isn't just a spin-off of the Living Sacrifice fame. Their music can tread water on its own merit. True purists of the death metal scene will eat this up. Meanwhile, us hardcore kids can slip this into our collection for a taste of what the older guys have to offer. Good listening all around.

Duncann Tripp 3/17/2002


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