Artist: Seraph In Travail
Album: Lest They Feed Upon Your Soul
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Review by: Simon Strelein
From the first symphonic refrains of this album, I found myself intrigued. Hailing from Philadelphia, Seraph In Travail present a finely executed offering of blackened death metal in this, their second full length album, 'Lest They Feed Upon Your Soul'.
It's hard to miss two of Seraph In Travail's obvious influences, namely The Black Dahlia Murder and Cradle Of Filth. From the first track I knew that I would enjoy listening to this band regularly in future, as both those influences hold a place in my own music collection. The former more than the latter, I found my interest in Cradle Of Filth waning after 'Cruelty And The Beast' and only being somewhat rekindled lately by their more recent effort 'Cryptoriana'. The Black Dahlia murder however, are one of my all-time favourites. Big time.
So as I began to delve further into 'Lest They Feed Upon Your Soul' I found myself enjoying it more and more with each track. Similarities aside, the band are highly skilled at what they do. Structurally their songs follow a TBDM formula, guitarist Joe Bonner delivers sweeping and technical arpeggiated riffs that careen energetically throughout the album's entirety, punctuated by precise solos. Ferocious, blasting drums drive the massive riffs onward like a runaway horse-drawn carriage through the night.
Mournful strings and choral refrains weave between the two, and as the average song length on the album runs to the 6-7 minute mark, these symphonic melodies serve to break up what could have dragged on. Vocalist Jon Sutherman manages a seamless combination of guttural lows and witch-like shrieks tempered by well-delivered clean vocals, something I'm not usually a massive fan of. But when done correctly, clean vocals can enhance the brutality of death growls.
All in all, Seraph In Travail deliver a strong offering, an individual sound familiar to those who appreciate the style. 'Lest They Feed Upon Your Soul' is an entirely finished product that leaves me wondering why this band doesn't have more listeners and followers than they deserve. Perhaps in time, more fans of this genre will stumble across this fantastic band.
8 out of 10.
For fans of The Black Dahlia Murder, Cradle Of Filth, All Shall Perish, As Blood Runs Black.
Connect with and support Seraph In Travail by visiting their Bandcamp & Facebook pages.