British metallers Wretched Soul have spent years honing and crafting a modern, blackened heavy metal sound with constant gigging around the country. I enjoyed their vicious 2013 album ‘Veronica’, and I must say their newest offering through UKEM Records, ‘The Ghost Road’, is sounding superb. When faced with an album cover like this, you’d expect something a little darker and more brutal. But trust me, this is better.
Opening with the anthemic ‘Necromancer’ is a good start, with its stadium metal ‘wooo ooooohs’ at the start, and the fiery guitar licks will instantly appeal to all riff addicts out there. Capturing that early thrash aesthetic, and filtering vintage heavy metal through more extreme genres has worked wonders. The raging gallop of ‘War Wolf’, the glorious fury of ‘The Silent God’ and the melodic power of ‘The Great Destroyer’ leave you breathless and with sore arms after pumping so many fists in the air.
As metal fans, we all love things harder, faster, heavier than everything else. But there are times where we NEED bands like this. Bands to remind us that good tunes, air guitaring and singing along is what heavy metal was built on. Killer riffs spill from the likes of ‘I Am the Thunderer’, but it’s the catchy chorus of ‘Burying the Heretic’ or the soar of the magnificent ‘We Made the Gods’ that captures the imagination here. Well done UKEM Records, you’ve given us a total gem here.