Led by a female singer perfectly at ease in such different registers as lyric, rock or thrash, SOULMAKER delivers a melodic and varied brand of metal. The band's songs are accessible to most, as they never take the extreme road. From the type of classical heavy metal the band were playing when they were first started, they only kept melodies, and prefer relying on efficiency rather than technical demonstration to build to-the-point songs, meant to be played on stage. On the live front, with about forty dates under their belt, SOULMAKER never cheats and delivers the goods in an energetic manner.
SOULMAKER was formed in 1999 by Salva (guitars), sam (bass) and Vivien (vocals). After undergoing several line-up changes, the band settles down in 2002 with the arrival of Nico (drums) and Seb (guitars) in its ranks. They adjusted their weapons playing Heavy Metal covers before deciding to take matters in their hands and write their own stuff. Despite a promising start and a few shows, Seb is forced to sit out due to professionnal reasons, and the whole band went on a hiatus for one year.
In the beginning 2004, SOULMAKER is once again a full unit and finds its rehearsal space. During this year, the band records a song for the Into a Heavy Circle compilation and sets their goal on self producing its first demo. In October, it is ready and the band launches its website to push its release.
In 2006, SOULMAKER is on a musical crossroad : while keeping the melodic aspects and French lyrics, the band sets for a broader style of Metal, taking elements from every subgenre to achieve its own identity. The demo release enables them to play about twenty shows and land opening spots with PSYKUP and EPICA. At the same time, the band joins the Myspace community and creates its own association, Le Chant Des Ombres.
In early 2007, the band splits up with Vivien for musical reasons. Marina is soon integrated in the formation and enables SOULMAKER to enjoy a new start. The band is finding its own strength and records 'Obsessions' to show its new face.
To be continued...
METAL REVIEWS - 89/100
When Soulmaker’s 5 track EP Obsession dropped through my letter box, I couldn’t for the life of me remember putting my name forward to review it. Once heard, I would have bitten the hand off of anyone trying to take it from me. I went into this blind and deaf to anything to do with Soulmaker, just took it out the case, slammed it into my player sat back and was vigorously abused aurally by the opposing forces getting fired out my speakers. The music is as heavy as a great big heavy thing offset by the soothing, melodic vocals that are like a mother’s kiss on a skinned knee. But, as what usually follows the mother’s kiss; the sting and pain of the iodine, in this case it is the inhuman, evil below of a tortured soul. Frontwoman Marina Viotti is the owner of this diverse vocal arsenal that also covers down ‘n’ durty Rawk, leather lunged hollers and a variety of other oral outpourings that can have you soothed and mellowed one minute and have you quaking behind the sofa the next. I originally thought that it was one of her fellow band-members doing the ‘Evil’ backing vocals, but the album cover says Marina Viotti : All Vocals; so there you go! I’m not normally one to go gaa-gaa over a vocalist (Matt Barlow joining Pyrameze excepted) but whoa, c’mon she fuckin’ rocks!!!
Okay, droolin’ fan-boy moment over. Obviously Soulmaker is more than just Marina and to compliment such vocal talent the musicianship has to be equally awesome; and by Satan is it ever! Guitarists Salva and Sébastien Tchoryk play some wicked chunky riffs, real technical with excellent harmonies and melodies. With some bands of this ilk you get some killer intros that fade off into mediocre songs, but not here, oh no! The intros to these songs start as they mean to go on; except on Requiem For A Creep and Masque De Verre which have you thinking “Oh, mellow.” until it feels like they unleash the sonic equivalent of the Hounds Of Hell! The intro to the track Les Mouches and some other parts throughout the track suggest a Children Of Bodom influence, however, I gave up trying to figure out what other influences I could find preferring to accept the sound as Soulmaker’s own. No doubt there will be those amongst you readers who will say they are a rip-off of this band or another but to be honest, with the sound that Soulmaker have created, who really cares who influenced them. The nearest I can get to a description of their sound is think Nightwish on steroids and with a better singer! (Sorry Nightwish fans) Having everything mixed and mastered by Mika Jussla at Finnvox studios no doubt helped but he had to have started with some good stuff to craft the excellence that is Obsessions
The rhythm section make their presence felt with some fantastic bass lines from Samuel Salvador that punches in enough low end to vibrate your lungs out your ribcage and Nicolas Colette’s stickmanship and double bass kicking applies the power that drives things along like a charging rhino. And that is another apt way to describe their music; although fairly fast tempo the music comes across with such power it’s like the weight behind it rather than the speed that bowls you over.
As you may have sussed by now Obsessions has just blown me away! I’m normally put off by non-English lyrics but Les Mouches and Masque De Verre transcends any language barrier. Obsessions has pushed a whole load of my buttons; even some buttons that I was surprised were pushed. For an EP, Obsessions is going to spend a ridiculous amount of time on my favourites playlist and I’m gonna be watching the Soulmaker Website and their My Space site so as I don’t miss when they bring out their first full length and come anywhere near where I stay. But before that I hope to see a major label snatch them up sometime soon. Talent such as Soulmaker only comes along once in a while and Metalheads far and wide really need to hear of them. As Obsessions is an EP it cannot be awarded the ‘Album Of The Month’ Skeleton but I have no doubt that when they produce a full length ‘Album Of The Month’ will be a shoe in!
BEHIND THE VEIL - 8/10
Sometimes you never expect how great a band might be and how much they can attract your attention. Soulmaker are one of these bands and they make me keep their latest EP for a long time inside my CD player. The band comes from France and they formed back in 1999. "Obessions" is the title of their newest work which has five tracks and more than twenty minutes of pure melodic metal music with female vocals. But the way that Soulmaker write their music is really interesting because they use their influences to create their personal sound and to write well worked compositions. Also another interesting thing in the music of Soulmaker is their singer. To be honest with you, I haven’t heard their previous singer but with Marina, the band has gone to a different level and this is because of the way that Marina sings. Now if you combine all these ingredients then you will have a clue on the musical direction of Soulmaker, but it is better to hear their stuff and... voila this band is a hidden diamond!! Be amongst the first one to realize this. You won’t regret it.