Wednesday 20 June 2018

Soul Attrition - Vashon Rain

Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 13 Jul 2018


1. Sinking
2. Thirteen
3. Remission
4. Fatal Flaw
5. Vashon Rain
6. Unexpected Affront
7. Euclid

This is the first time I've managed to write reviews on successive nights (I think) for a little while now and it feels good. This one feature an early listen to another record that's due out in July. Chicago's Soul Attrition is the solo-project of Escape Is Not Freedom bassist Josh Parlette, who kindly got in touch with me following my earlier review of the Escape Is Not Freedom/Dusk Village split from January. Soul Attrition is described as a post-metal/sludge/experimental band with Josh's influences ranging from Nirvana to Type O Negative and Thou to Godflesh (amongst others).

Solo-projects are usually the preserve of black metal (at least in my experience), so Soul Attrition is a welcome surprise. Album opener Sinking is gloomy and the Type O Negative influence is definitely there in the vocals. The music is heavier, but also melodic in a similar way to grunge. There’s also an industrial side to the instrumentation that pokes through when it’s at it’s fullest. So far so good then. Thirteen is equally as heavy thanks to the continuous driving riffs. They create a lot of atmosphere though and Josh’s singing is akin to the clean vocals of Chino Moreno. 

Remission sees Soul Attrition moving in a different direction, following the two previous songs and slowing things down a tad. The music isn’t layered with as much guitar noise initially and what guitar there is, sounds really calming. The vocals remind me a little of Brian Molko at times too. It’s not long before the music takes a heavier turn again, though you can be safe in the knowledge that it’s not going to go too extreme. It’s a glorious song that’s easy to get lost in, which is what I did during it’s second half. The audible shouted vocals that are present throughout the album are a nice touch and won’t frighten non-metal lovers away. They’re used well on Fatal Flaw when the volume increases in what I guess is the chorus (of sorts?). Soul Attrition also ends the song with a ridiculously good passage of post-black metal guitar work that kills it.

It’s difficult to underestimate the old-school influence on “Vashon Rain” and the title-track’s instrumental refrain adds an element of that. The album is also pretty expansive and it deserves the progressive tag it’s been given. The songs are lengthy at times but no too long that your attention wanes. Penultimate song Unexpected Affront is one that builds on the dynamic of anticipation followed by explosion. Everything sill leans heavily towards grunge/alternative soundscapes but they’re done brilliantly and don’t just sound like rehashed. Euclid closes it all out in suitably moody fashion, matching the atmosphere of the album opener while seemingly being more depressive (if that’s the right descriptor) thanks to it’s tempo.

You can stream Fatal Flaw prior to the album's release date here:-

Soul Attrition -

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