WATCH ME BLEED - review added 16h October 2009
Album Review: Souldrinker (2009)
For fans of: Deathcore... and music so heavy it'll crush you
Man this is a heavy album! With a name like Watch Me Bleed, they were never going to play nursery rhymes but, even so, this is loud bombastic stuff.
Watch Me Bleed is (and I quote) Chris Rodens (screams & whispers), Markus Wenzel (growls & grunts), Markus Pohl (guitars), Michael Vetter (bass) and Steffen Theurer (drums). Founded in 2007 by Mystic Prophecy/Symphorce guitarist Markus, Symphorce drummer Steffen and Kickdown vocalist Chris Rodens, the band started more or less as a cock-about side project before discovering they were actually rather good together.
A couple of years down the line, we have the debut album Souldrinker. The style, as you may have gathered from that first paragraph, is f*cking heavy and loud with a capital BANG! These guys don't play instruments, they play semtex, T.N.T., C4 and nitroglycerin. It isn't just noise though. There's a truck load of music and musicianship here, but it will burst your eardrums.
'Rise' starts the album with a pulverizing thrash attack and all the subtlety of using a hand grenade in a game of conkers. 'Bloodred Rain' is just as quick and savage, although not quite up there with the enjoyable 'SixSixSeven'. Admittedly the song makes me chuckle - It shares some lyrical similarities with '667' by glam rockers Wig Wam (when it goes on about 667 being the 'neighbour of the beast') - but the remorseless nature of the lead riff makes any humorous thoughts irrelevant.
'Where Darkness Hides' is a strangely unfulfilling follow-up. 'The End Of Everything' is another all-about-the-lead-riff track. The vocals are too Biohazard-inspired for me, but the guitars crunch like oaty biscuits in a steam press. 'Dead Sky Black Sun' has a wonderful tone but little long-term catchiness. Same for 'The Game Is On'. The sound is stunning, but I've heard it all before, maybe not this brutal, but arguably better.
'Burn Down Hope' kicks in with a surprise groove-led riff that's a total change of tack from the songs before. It's almost like a death metal take on a rock 'n' roll track. It works well, if not necessarily through its entirety, and the drums sound like they could scare Poseidon...which is a good thing. The upbeat sounding 'All Red Roses Die' is a solid, cohesive track. 'Jackhammer' lifts the pace up a few notches and slips some spine-shattering double kick drums into the mix. It sounds like it'll be great live, but is only average on record.
Closing track 'The Bleeding Chalice' features Brainstorm/Symphorce singer Andy B. Franck, Mystic Prophecy guitarist Constantine and Eigensinn's female vocalist Nemesis. The result is a brute of a song with more thunder than an amplified electric storm. On balance it's probably the finest track on the album.
Hmmm...this is a good album, but the quality of that fabulously deep, heavy sound is better than the quality of the songs. The majority of the tracks simply don't push the envelope enough. Little of it jumps out and tries to strangle you with a guitar strap. If you played this at full volume in your car with the windows wound down it would undoubtedly sound mind blowing. If that's enough for you you'll be right at home here. For me, Souldrinker is good, very good even, but it isn't kick-you-in-the-crotch great.
Check out... the heaviness of it all.
02. Bloodred Rain
04. Where Darkness Hides
05. The End Of Everything
06. Dead Sky Black Sun
07. The Game Is On
08. Burn Down Hope
09. All Red Roses Die
11. The Bleeding Chalice
Artist's website(s): MySpace