Sunday 20 February 2022

Old Soul - Blue Heron

Labels: Dingleberry Records/IFB Records/Maniyax Records/Mosh Potatoes/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 01 Jun 2016


1. Typha

2. To Have Loved And Lost

3. Herons' Dance

4. Transcendence And Happenstance

Over the last few years, I've been (not so) secretly trying to complete or at least build-up a collection of discographies of certain bands, with Old Soul being one. Their 2016 four-track LP Blue Heron has so far eluded me, but I've also taken my eye off the ball a bit. I was reminded of this fact because it was the next ZBR release on my list to write about, as part of my ongoing ZBR roster review series. 

It was released via a collaboration that included a bunch of incredibly active labels; Dingleberry Records, IFB Records, Maniyax Records, Mosh Potatoes and Zegema Bech Records. I don't know exactly how many copies of this LP were pressed but I know it came on black vinyl and to this day it is Old Soul's last recorded material to date.

Old Soul have always been a viciously engaging band, mixing black metal with screamo/post-hardcore and on Blue Heron that sound was taken to it’s most emotive peak. Opener ‘Typha’ very much spreads Old Soul’s music out towards post-metal territory, certainly more so than before. That being said though, introspective dreamo provides respite too. As openers go, this is so cinematic and sets you up for the rest of the LP.

The use of sampled spoken-word on ‘To Have Loved And Lost’ is perfect, as it accompanies the long instrumental passage that opens the song. At nearly nine minutes, it’s definitely one to get lost in. When the full band opens up about three minutes in, their percussive black metal blasts sit comfortably alongside the melodic riffs and the harsh screams, before feedback-laden noise takes things down a notch or two later on. There’s still a cinematic quality to it but it’s also more menacing.

It’s easy to overlook just how progressive Old Soul were at times and ‘Herons’ Dance’ shows why, as it’s a deceptively off-kilter song with maybe even some psych-elements in the riffs (a la Japanese screamo/post  metal maybe?), albeit subtly. 2016 was a golden year for screamo and screamo-adjacent music I feel. Old Soul helped make it so with this release for sure.

LP closer ’Transcendence And Happenstance’ washes over you in such a gentle fashion at first, while slowly building with percussive layers and increasing volume. Even when it get’s heavier, it’s tempered back in such a way that it stays gentle, which is very clever musically. It ends with a calming orchestral outro. A very fitting way to end a record that still stands as the last release by Old Soul. 

As bands in the screamopshere go, Old Soul were one of the more prolific. They were around for about 7 years and members now play in other bands, including Niboowin. 

You can stream and purchase Blue Heron digitally from Old Soul below:-

Old Soul -

Physical copies can still be purchased via the links below:-

Mosh Potatoes -

Dingleberry Records -

IFB Records -

Maniyax Records -

Mosh Potatoes -

Zegema Beach Records -

Also, head back here on the evening of Thursday 24th Feb, as I'll have a special post up featuring a brand new ZBR release!

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