"The Suffering"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Perhaps it is damning with faint praise to call an album "decent", but few other words fit "The Suffering" as well. Finnish act SOULWOUND, on their third album, have come up with an aggressive slab of metal that lacks the major characteristics needed to break out of the pack. That's not to say this album is poor, as these guys actually kick a fair amount of ass. It's just another one of those records that does "enough" and no more.

The band straddles the line between thrash and death metal and they also dip their toes into both classic and more modern versions of thrash. So the potential audience for this is wide.Too bad there's so many bands trying to fill that gap. At some times they almost have an early FEAR FACTORY vibe, at other times they have a deathly groove ala POWER TRIP. On slower songs like "Pleasures" and "Death of the Sun", there's almost a CARCASS feel, but without the intricacy of that band. There is some attempt made to differentiate the songs, so I give them points for that.

It just doesn't quite get over the hump, though. Despite the raw anger behind tunes like "Meat Puppets", nothing sticks around long in the cranium. So I must reiterate: SOULWOUND is a decent band and nothing more.