Review: Lined – Soulcrifice

Either the Spanish metal scene is booming, or I just am attracted to the names and/or titles of bands hailing form the Southern European region, because my latest pick, Lined, is once again a Spain based band. This time their home base is set in Basque Country, Arrasate to be more specific. In all these years they have had remarkably few lineup changes, nowadays the band consists of Aitor Atxa (vocals), Imanol Roman (guitar), Andoni Barkero (guitar), Iker Hervás (bass) and Ruben Conejo (drums). They play a type of music that has melodic death and thrash metal as the key components. Having been around since 2007, the quintet’s releases have been few and far between. In fact up until now they only have released one full-length, called Lined. After releasing a few singles earlier this year, that served as teasers, they have now released their second full-length which they have titled Soulcrifice.

Soulcrifice opens, just as it closes by the way, with an instrumental piece that pretty much does what it is supposed to do, which is introducing Lined. Though it’s in no way any serious indication of the type of music you’re about to have poured out over you or very original, album closer and title song Soulcrifice does a much better job where it comes to that, it still is a nice way to get a little fired up for what is coming. And fired up you will get, because with the first ‘real’ song and in my opinion the actual album opener Rotten Society Lined shows what they’re made of. Their peppered style of playing, as you’d expect with thrash metal, immediately puts your muscles to work. It’s not that they play particularly fast or particularly heavy, but the rhythm in most songs simply catches you and drags you along and will continue to do so for about forty minutes at which point this release ends. Admitted, it’s not a really innovating or groundbreaking release, but that never has to get in the way of a great release, provided the creators know what they’re doing. Lined’s musicians do, offering greatly composed, expertly executed death/thrash metal with some sweet solos and a few refreshing features embedded in (some of the) songs.

Very nice, tight guitar riffs supported, or rather augmented by an equally tight and strong rhythm section and underlined by hoarse, throaty grunts  guarantee a thoroughly enjoyable second release courtesy of Lined. Filled with downright catchy, genre-fitting, melodic death/thrash metal songs, Soulcrifice offers you a lot of bang for your buck, with a few treats that make this album stand out, at least somewhat, from the crowd. The best example of this is the, in my opinion, most interesting and original song of the album, Buried Alive. Though still fitting the spiced musical style of Lined, it distinguishes itself with even more melodicism and an intriguing vibe embedded in the chorus and the end game of the song, which in itself is special as well. Other songs worthy of a special mention, though to a lesser extent, are Slaves and The Reaper. So, long story short: despite the fact their music is, generally spoken, not really innovating, Lined delivers a great album that is more than worthy of your attention. Partly due to some original additions, but mostly due to the fact they are very good at writing songs in this particular subgenre. A no-brainer where it comes to purchasing. Do it.

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