"Soultaker" (Self-released; 2016)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Hawaii is known for a lot of things but one of them isn't for pumping out heavy metal bands. Then along comes Kauz of Affliction with their debut CD "Soultaker," in an attempt to change that.

Most of the time, "Soultaker" is driving heavy metal, with raunchy riffs, killer leads and a rough punk rock edge. Lead vocalist, Erik, has an angry yelling vocal style for much of the CD, but is also very versatile, changing his style to fit the song. He particularly shines on the band's cover of Rammstein's "Du Hast."

Things get interesting when bassist Justine takes over the mic. Her haunting vocals on "Glasgow Smile," make that song sound like Oingo Boingo went heavy metal. She also tears it up on a punked-up version of Scandal's "Goodbye to You." Whenever Justine makes a vocal appearance, the band's sound changes, neither better or worse, just changes.

The production on "Soultaker" is a little thin but this is a self-produced CD so I'm sure the budget wasn't huge. It's not bad, by any means, I just think it could have been (for lack of a better word) meatier.

"Soultaker" is a promising debut for a band that has some serious talent, and some seriously interesting ideas. I look forward to hearing more from them and, hey, maybe seeing them live in their home state will make my next trip to Hawaii tax deductible!

For more information, check out  http://www.facebook.com/kauzofaffliction.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2016 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Sep 2017 13:05:03 -0400.