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Old June 8th, 2002, 07:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
Mark
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Beseech - Souls Highway

Beseech - Souls Highway
11:51'42"

By Mark Bridgeman

Beseech have built on their previously well-performed, but not-always perfect, releases with a collection of 10 tracks of lush, soulful songs of melodic doom. Much of this has to do with the larger role female vocalist Lotta Hoglin has had to play in these recordings, trading lines with the charismatic tones of Erik Molarin, forming an enduring vocal team that not only enriches each track, but manages to also provide them with the necessary focus. 'Souls Highway' is the album that 'Black Emotions' promised us.

The songwriting here is direct, with no wasted passages (read: filler) - they get to the point melodically, each almost anthemic in their catchiness. The refrains and choruses stick in your head, haunting you.

Main songwriters Klas Bohlin and Robert Spanglund have sculpted individual pieces that will, if the metal world knows what's good for it, go on to be seen as classic examples of writing. The title track particularly is one to take notice of; its chorus shines out from a gorgeously-melancholic whole. Very rarely am I as enthusiastic about one track as I was when I heard it.

Melancholy plays a large role in the entire album, partnered with dark melodies and tight arrangements. There are touches of 80s britpop, of sounds similar to Opeth's quiter moments, and Katatonia-esque doom, brought together as a sounds that is at once uplifting, yet also inwardly sorrowful.

At the end of the day, 'Souls Highway' is a collection of songs from the heart.

On the digipack there's also a grand version of ABBA's 'Gimme Gimme Gimme', painted with the Beseech palate. Marvelous.

10/10
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Old August 8th, 2002, 09:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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