North Carolina's SOLD SOUL released their debut album last week, and it shares a pretty wicked journey of hell and hopelessness through absolutely devastating melodic deathcore. "Into The Mouth of Hell" packs one mean punch with seven tracks of pure brutality along with an alternative version of a song featuring a very special guest feature. The album, honestly, is packed with five absolute incredible guest spots (especially if you're a fan of deathcore); but don't let that distract you, even without the guest spots, Sold Soul bring the fucking ruckus and this album will undoubtedly put their name on the map for fans of death metal. While using "melodic" in their genre may turn some away, don't knock it 'til you hear it: "Into The Mouth of Hell" is relentless heaviness from start to finish, and this album fucking CRUSHES.
"A Voyage Through River Styx" is the first blast of heavy you'll hit after the super chill, building intro track, and it plunges you right into that melodic chugging sound you'll find throughout the album. The swaying, chugging of the guitars will instantly get you bouncing your head, and the melodic factor to it gives it a totally sick, atmospheric kind of feeling to it that gets addicting from the get-go; it almost feels like you're about to get some sick metalcore sound but trust me, it quickly turns into our beloved deathcore. What blew me away after hearing this the first is the dope vocals that bounce from demonic lows to these super evil mid-screams (that never get too high for my death metal liking, so don't worry, it never gets "whiny") and it sounds absolutely nutty. Blend this absurd vocal style (almost reminiscent of Tom Barber, in my opinion at least) with the bouncy, crushing tones from the guitars and the subtle yet badass drum work and already this album is off to a great start. This is also where you'll be greeted by your first guest spot, and it's none other than Niko Apostolakis of Until We Die who fucking destroys his part and just adds to the sickness of this track. Yep, Niko - like I said, "Into The Mouth of Hell" is packed with guest spots that honestly, I'm not sure Sold Soul could have done a better job at choosing: they brought in some of the greatest names in the scene right now and it blends with their style so fucking well. "The Son of Perdition" makes two, INSANE appearances on the album - one featuring CJ McCreery of Lorna Shore and another featuring Ben Mason of Bound in Fear - and both are so disgustingly heavy, it's almost hard to comprehend that this is coming off of a debut album by this sick North Carolina based band. Sold Soul are very clearly fans of the genre that they're writing - not only because of how absurdly fucking heavy this gets, but because of how the song isn't just one big drawn out breakdown that we've seen from so many bands before; Sold Soul are actually adding a sweet little twist to the deathcore genre and making it their own, and that's a big factor in why I really gotta recommend this album to fans of the genre. You're honestly bound to find something you'll fuck with on "Into The Mouth of Hell;" if it isn't the dark, religious mythology related lyrics, then maybe it's the dark tone that accompanies it in the form of true, heavy metal.
"Gnarled Horns," "Severed Tongues," and "Harrowing, His Calls to the Void" are all guest-less tracks, so if you're hesitant to fuck with Sold Soul for whatever reason, I promise you'll find something you'll like out of one of these three songs that clearly prove that Sold Soul didn't even need the guest spots to mark their claim in the deathcore arena: they are mighty fucking fine all by themselves."Gnarled Horns" has blast beats that will pulverize your brain matter paired with vocals so goddamn heavy, you'll feel it in the very pit of your stomach with the right headphones. This is probably my favorite track off the entire album, honestly - it's a chug fest that gets me so hyped and pumped every single listen, and it shows the pure talent these dudes got right out of the gate. "Harrowing, His Calls to the Void" is an adventure of a track; again, reviving that metalcore kind of guitar work over a very deathcore breakdown, and while "beautiful" may not be a word we use often enough here at Soulless Cult, it's the best way to explain this in one word. Beautiful, and brilliant. For "The Beast of Gevaudan" (amazing reference by the way; this album is filled with them), Sold Soul called in the help of Greg Gilbert of Shrine of Malice and for "Dread Father," Cameron McBride - the mastermind behind Methwitch - two more punishing displays of crushing, melodic goodness. If you are a fan of pounding, headbanging metal with just a hint of gorgeous, melodic overtones, Sold Soul may have just put together one of your favorite records of the year. It's equal parts breakdown heavy, melodic heavy, and demonic heavy - what more could you possibly ask for?! To sum up "Into The Mouth of Hell," I can't make it anymore clear: Sold Soul are fucking sick, and I couldn't help but pass this album around to my friends this last week. It's one that will no doubt secure a permanent place in my playlist, and I'm expecting huge things from these guys in 2019 - these tracks will RIP in a live-setting. The final verdict: you'll regret skipping this one. Don't make that dumb mistake. Sold Soul fucking rules.
You can check out "Into The Mouth of Hell" in its entirety at the video below brought to you by Slam Worldwide, and if you dig what you hear, please check out the band on Facebook and consider buying the album on Bandcamp!