Inner Soul - Leaving The Soul Within

Year of Release: 2002
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:52:00

Progressive metal. The genre has become so popular in the underground during the last few years that many now even go as far as to take the term and think that it encompasses all things progressive. Certainly not true, but it is astounding proof of this continuously rising phenomenon and the way it has taken hold of musicians worldwide in a flurry of technical activity that has produced albums of all qualities, characteristics, and moods. Inner Soul is a band comprised of just such musicians, and the band's specialty is delivering...well, you figure it out.

What is actually curious about this group is the fact that it does not sport either a keyboardist or a twin guitar lineup, which of course leaves it with a sound that slightly departs from the fuller sonic approach of many of its peers and thus confers to it a certain uniqueness that, although not groundbreaking, seems to work well at times. I suppose that calling it punk progressive metal would be taking things way too far, as there are plenty of tempo changes and riffs running across each track in a fashion that recalls fine progressive metal bands that center on the exploits of electric guitar, but there is a slight inexactitude that brings with itself a curious sense of attitude and freshness.

Unfortunately, however, the inexactitude to be found on Leaving The Soul Within seems more a result of both bad production and songwriting skills that, although producing some really cool riffs and vocal lines at times, still need to mature quite a bit before the band's songs acquire a truly consistent and coherent nature. The entire affair seems to tread the border of the disjointed too often, and thus at times appears more a last second collage of riffs and ideas than of carefully crafted songs, which leaves the listener waiting for the familiar cool parts and ignoring the rest instead of digging into the entire song.

What really seems to suck the life out of this album is not lack of compositional continuity, however, but rather the fact that it sounds like a poorly recorded demo. The quality of recording is extremely opaque, the mixing levels are all over the place, and the entire balance is lost all throughout, so that the music never manages to sound truly solid, regardless of what is being played. Even mistakes can be heard at times, and Grant Wyhtoff's vocals, which are often mixed way too much in the background, sometimes manage to get out of tune just slightly, although still perceivably. Not to be confused with simply bad production, the sound of Leaving The Soul Within is really far from professional standards, and unfortunately drowns out much of this band's potential.

One can pick up some interesting stuff along the way, however; especially when the band engages in chugging heavy riffage during "The Last Words" and "Mental Penetration," which is when Inner Soul seems at its tightest and most determined. In fact, these guys could have definitely scored better had they had a better production, which would have eliminated the sense of emptiness that dominates much of this record and allowed their attitude to come across more unrestrained. Even then though, there is still work to be done on the songwriting, which admittedly does not sound very derivative but which at the same time is lacking in strength and structuring. Perhaps next time around?

Similar artists: Fates Warning, Symmetry, Magnitude 9

The Call Of The Archangel (6:07) / Shifting Winds (6:33) / Mental Penetration (7:03) / Coming Into The Light / Changing Horizons / Nexus (Instrumental) I / Life Changes (11:50) / The Last Words (5:53)

Dave Hudson - bass
Andrew Ficco - drums
Matt Ormsby - guitars
Grant Wythoff - vocals

Leaving The Soul Within (2002)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: July 30th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 632
Language: english


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