Seraph in Travail – Lest they feed upon your Soul

Band: Seraph in Travail
Title: Lest they feed upon your Soul
Label: Independent
Release date: 30 April 2019/ 12 July 2019
Country: USA
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

In regards of choosing what to review, this week turned out differently than I expected. Instead of having to search and find something that caught the eye, I got pointed in a certain direction, and for that I am grateful because the name SERAPH IN TRAVAIL alone probably would not have made as much impact as the music hiding behind the name did.

On April 30th the band released their second full-length album titled “Lest they feed upon your soul”. What is interesting however is that the band is unsigned and I wondered what I was getting myself into? After having given it a couple of run-throughs, I must assume that it’s by choice.

What caught my ear with the very first track, “At the Stormed Shore of Heaven”, was the mixing of pretty much everything. Angelic choir tones fill the outer layers as fast, technical, melodic death and guttural growls with tastefully attached high pitched screams fill the rest. The very riff-based track brings forth the Fleshgod Apocalypse vibe that you won’t be able to shake for some time. The performance of this track is annoyingly flawless in every field and I knew if the rest of the album was as good as this track, I surely was in for a treat.

The tightness of the performance of the second track, Temptress Suicide”, was no less than in the first track, and with added piano-melody opening and the female vocals the blast-beat kicked me right in the fucking everything. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Dani Filth at times, I believe it may have been because of the theatrical feel to the cleaner vocals and the neoclassical guitar-melodies.

And the vocals along with everything else, doesn’t stop there. By “You will be my Vengeance” I realized that the growls are one of the longest I have ever heard. The formula used is rather similar to the first track with the angelic outer layer of synthesized strings, pianos and choirs along with flawless drumming, guitar work and vocals; it does feel like this is an album-oriented band. I do wonder how they would pull this off live, and I must admit, I would very much like to be there.

“Worlds Strewn like Wreckage” was I believe, my personal favorite track. The Cradle of Filthery formula was represented nicely along with a progressive odd time signatures, after the soothing intro which was ever present throughout the song. What took this track off the grid was the piano part, which by then I wished they had perhaps used a bit more through the album.

Over all this record is annoyingly good. The phenomenal guitar work is some of the tightest I believe I have ever heard. The cleanliness all the way through cannot go unnoticed, and even when the notes hit around 200 bpm speeds he just won’t screw up. The clean vocals are at a minimum and the high pitched screaming in the foreground is outstanding, it’s clear that he can really sing his stuff. The classic death-metal drumming deserves praise, his openings of most of the songs give the listener the right vibe and the will to hear more. This group surely has found a formula they like; they have mastered said formula, and have decided not to stray from it. Not that there is anything wrong with that, however, the only thing that such activity brings is a certain lack of diversity. 9/10 Julia

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