soul embraced - dead alive
Dead Alive
Solid State Records

Six years after Soul Embraced first went on indefinite hiatus, the boys regrouped and recorded another album. My first reaction after first hearing the news was, “interesting”. Really, while I enjoy the first two full-lengths they released, their last CD didn’t exactly light the fire for me. So I didn’t exactly have an uncontrollable urge to rush out and plop down full price for the CD right then and there. And while the two or three songs I streamed on the band’s MySpace page did pique my interest a bit, it was still a couple of years or so before I could find a good used copy at a price that wouldn’t give me heart palpitations.

Upon first glance, I got to tell you — that is one very awesome cover they’ve got for Dead Alive. Always down with Christians embracing zombie imagery. Could this be an indication of the possible lyrical imagry and sound for us to expect? Or to keep someone from mistaking this for the new Anberlin release? I would wager, yes. Definately on the former, and a strong contender for the later.

The music itself is an improvement over the last album. Okay, maybe “improvement” isn’t the proper word to use, but on Dead Alive it’s back to the great sounding modern death metal that made me fall in love with the band in the first place. Thick, chugging guitars, solid rhythms and death growls aplenty, with a healthy dose of musical diversity to keep things from sounding stale. This is some good brutal stuff, here. Lyrically, the band ponders death, life, and the struggle to maintain one’s faith in a very mature and disturbing way. I like it. Not for the easily squeamish, no.

So, overall I’d say Dead Alive marks a very welcome return for Soul Embraced. Nice n’ heavy both in the music and imagery. Worth checking out, definitely.