Soul Control - Cycles

12 songs
31:29 minutes
***** ***
Bridge Nine


Rhode Island quartet Soul Control were founded in 2006 and soon released a couple of EPs and singles on small record labels, before they were signed by Bridge Nine who convinced them to take a chance at a longplayer. The endeavour’s result is Cycles, a half hour long tour de force consisting of a dozen songs. If you’re expecting now a lightning fast hardcore attack, you will be mistaken. The opener Beyond Words may give a wrong impression with its relentless ferocity delivered in only a minute, but already the following Pursuing Ghosts reveals the band’s true face. Rooted in mid-Nineties hardcore, Soul Control deftly add a strong noise rock touch that makes you think Helmet decided to play hardcore music. Especially the guitar comes with a broad and warm sound that instantly elevates the music to a higher level. Only two tracks – Silent Reality and Flux – are crossing the three minute border, and it should not surprise that these longer pieces best show the strong rock influence, but also their more concise material is merging successfully melodic yet powerful hardcore with a grating noise rock attitude. Other bands would have added a minute or two to the songs, but Soul Control seemingly don’t like to waste any time on repetitive structures.

The only drawback of Cycles is therefore its short running time. The title track that ends the album shows eight minutes on the CD player but is actually another short piece that is padded with a drunk acoustic cover version of Voodoo Chile (if I am not mistaken) and some nonsense talk to allow the album to be at least more than half an hour long.

Apart from that, there are no complaints. Soul Control are one of the rare hardcore bands that succeeded in creating a sound which is different from the majority of often similar artists. If you are weary of the omnipresent metalcore drabness and are curious about how hardcore with a noise rock twist turns out, then by all means get Cycles which entertains fabulously throughout its unfortunately short length.

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