Soulburn – Earthless Pagan Spirit (Review)

SoulburnThis is the third album from Soulburn, a predominantly black metal band from the Netherlands.

Featuring ex-members of Asphyx, this is a solid slab of prime-time metal that effectively mixes black and death metal, (with some doom), into a tasty 47 minutes.

Although they effectively draw on influences from several genres, including death and doom metal, the over-arching feeling is of black metal, right down to the blackened production. With an old-school feel that nonetheless gathers up the best highlights of the aforementioned genres, the songs on Earthless Pagan Spirit are corrupt masses of heavy, dark atmosphere and brutal Venom/Bathory-worship.

Although the songs on this release play at various speeds, there’s a feeling of slowness and drawn-out heaviness throughout. Sometimes this is blatantly apparent when the doom aspects of their sound come to the foreground, while at others it’s just a certain quality that they have to their guitar riffs, even if the drums are pounding hard.

This is delightfully grim and evil music. The band create effective atmosphere with lethal intent across this album. It may worship at the old-school altar and be rotten to the core, but Soulburn certainly don’t sound stale.

Mixing Darkthrone, Venom and Bathory influences with some equally old-school death and doom metal, this is a very satisfying listen.

Highly recommended.

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