Soultorn - _Masks_
by: David Rocher (2 out of 5)
I had great expectations for Soultorn's newest MCD, which _Masks_ sadly fails to live up to. Boasting Niklas Sundin artwork and a finale in the guise of a cover of Dark Tranquillity's "With the Flaming Shades of Fall", _Masks_ scarcely seeks to conceal its dominant musical influence, but suffers from some significant flaws that finally overcome its professional aspirations. Indeed, whereas a track such as "Legacy" proudly displays excellent, melodic riffing and cool arrangements, most of Soultorn's material simply sounds too derivative to prove effective; in addition, _Masks_ at times showcases unpleasant atonal qualities, particularly with regard to the sometimes toneless-sounding guitars and the clear vocals, which sound like a strange, unconvincing blend of gothic laments and punkoid tone-deafness -- considering how effective Ryan Montigny's screamed vocals are, I wonder why Soultorn resort to these at all. There is potential and will lurking within Soultorn, as _Mask_'s clean production and professional approach testify to, but these young Americans definitely need to fine-tune -- both literally and properly –- their sound and strip their songwriting of some whimsical components if they seek to break through the ranks of today's saturated melodic death metal scene.


(article published 28/5/2003)

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