Soul Factor - Live (independent) 2001
1. "The Beginning"
Yet another in a long line of Christian metal discs to come flowing out of Brazil. I actually received this one about the same time as some of the others (Eterna/Deliver) but held of posting it because I wasn't sure what to say about it as I know nothing about Soul Factor. I think this is the band's first CD, which is bizarre since it's a live recording. Soul Factor sound like they have quite a following, from the crowd reaction and the chants of "Soul-Fac-Tor, Soul-Fact-Tor" in the beginning of the disc. Regardless, it's the music that counts. Soul Factor are said to be in the Sepultura meets Pantera school of thrash metal with some early death metal leanings. I wouldn't necessarily disagree with this comparison, but certainly they need a bit of work before they will reach the song writing excellence of either of those two bands. A big part of the problem with this live CD is it is recorded very harsh and sounds like little or no overdubs were done, making for a sloppy recording overall. The band just doesn't sound tight. The other problem is the lack of another guitarist to pull off the solos live. When the guitarist drops the rhythms for a solo, it just sounds empty with only the bass and drums remaining to keep the riffs going. Well, despite the fact that after several listens I can't get into this disc, I am holding onto it in hopes of better things to come. Certainly Soul Factor show promise. I hope their next CD is a studio disc...
Soul Factor - Time Line (independent) 2003
...and indeed it is! "Timeline" is Soul Factor's first studio outing and man, what an improvement over that live album. Improved production and musicianship really punched this band up quite a bit. Even the songs that were previously recorded on that live album are much improved here. "Messiah" for example is a smokin' death metal romp. The Sepultura comparisons are pretty much gone here, although there is some thrash influences here and there. However, for the most part, "Timeline" is straight up, old school death metal like early Mortification. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Mortification was a huge influence on this band.
1. Voices [intro] (:30)
It's been nearly a decade since Brazil's Soul Factor released a studio album. With such a length of time between albums, one might expect the band to change their sound, but it's as if the band recorded this album as the immediate follow-up to 2003's "Timeline". The music is pure, old-school, death metal with barely a touch of more modern influences. The songs are straight-up-heavy, riff-driven, heavy metal with old-school, growled death metal vocals. With so many vocalists trying to sound like Randy Blythe or a ticked-off Phil Anselmo, it's awesome to hear a vocalist follow in the footsteps of Chris Barnes or John Tardy. The one exception is "Hate" which features a duet between Daniel Martin's gutteral growls and some clean female vocals. Overall the music isn't speed-based, instead Soul Factor focus on heavy riffs and memorable songs. This is one of the areas in which this band has improved since their 2003 release. The songs here are definitely more memorable than anything the band had recorded in the past. There are the occasional faster tempo parts, but speed is never the basis for any songs. "Ruins of the Soul" for example, opens up with some quick double bass and a machine gun riff, but quickly moves into a more mid-tempo metal romp. The other big area of improvement is the recording and production. The recording is clean, without robbing the album of that raw, heavy song. The distorted, down-tuned guitars, pounding drums, growled vocals and actual audible bass guitar are all in their proper place. Despite being from Brazil, the lyrics to all the songs are sung in English and are all faith-based. Though the album was a longtime coming, "Resurgence Of Chaos" was worth the wait. Fans of old-school death metal with lyrics that are openly and unashamedly Christian can proudly display this CD aside their Crimson Thorn, Antidemon and early Mortification albums.