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Review: Soulmass - Principality of Mechanical Violence
Principality of Mechanical Violence

Label: Independent
Year released: 2024
Duration: 36:01
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death Metal


Review online: January 24, 2024
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (6 Votes)

Hot off the heels of the excellent Let Us Pray and the short but solid EP Selling Rubicon by the Pound, Soulmass return with Principality of Mechanical Violence, which follows the trend of the previous EP in departing from the dark, dismal lands of dark fantasy to take to the bleak, distant stars of dark sci-fi, specifically dark sci-fi about giant robots blasting the crap out of each other. The focus has switched from the cult classic Armored Core game series to the much more popular but still relatively niche Gundam mythology, and the music has adapted by mixing in less doom than before and doubling down on vicious, blasting death metal somewhere between early Entombed and Bolt Thrower. This makes for a shorter and much more direct album than last time, with most songs being brief but vicious assaults of chunky riffs, tight and furious drum work, and powerful bellows that occasionally give way to some really sharp lead work. I will say I prefer this band when they get more moody, as they do on "Stardust" and the 9-minute closer "At the Bottom of the Gravity Well", so the move towards a more standard death metal sound is one I'm a little less fond of. On the other hand, songs like the opener "Jet Stream Attack" and the pummeling "Living Dead Division" have enough aggression and tight musicianship to hit you in the gut like the shockwave of an M-Warhead, so I can't complain too much about the band exploring another facet of their sound instead of just rewriting Let Us Pray. Another killer work from an underrated band.

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Review: Let Us Pray (reviewed by Mjölnir)
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