|Review: Soul Stealer - Soul Stealer|
Label: Ledo Takas Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: July 4, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
I was a bit surprised when I got this album by Lithuania's Soul Stealer, since Ledo Takas Records usually cater to extreme metal. Most songs here are sung in their native tongue, save for three that are sung in English (obvious by a cursory glance at the track listing.) Soul Stealer do not really invent anything here, playing a brand of Power Metal that mixes German and Swedish Power Metal styles. It's fast, energetic, with a very up beat, positive "atmosphere" overall, although some passages are a little darker, usually made a bit lighter by the vocal style and/or keyboards creeping in. While on the topic of keyboards, their effect varies a lot - sometimes they are way too predominant, to the point of "not belonging there", while at other times, mostly in the most quiet moments, their use is quite tasteful. The former effect is more noticeable than the latter, unfortunately, since the overwhelming keyboard sound does kill a couple of otherwise good songs. You sort of get used to it after a few listens, but still...
The vocals are clear and high - the guy is pretty damn good overall whether he's singing in Lithuanian or in English. Very powerful and melodic voice that's perfect match for this musical style, and he delivers the lines in such a catchy way that you'll find yourself singing along even the non-English tracks (which you should really not do around people, unless you're Lithuanian and know what the hell you're doing.) I could almost go as far as to say that the vocals are the highlight of the album, although the guitars are well worthy of mention - at least sometimes. You get some "average" riffage for the most part, but when the guitars are let free, you are treated to some pretty cool playing and a few invigorating, sometimes old school-ish solos.
Nothing that hasn't been done before, but if you haven't been purchasing every Power Metal album released in the past 10 years, you're bound to find something fresh here. Worst case scenario, this is a pretty decent album.
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