Soulpit is a talented death metal band from Padua, Italy that formed in 2004. Substantial is their full length album following on from the 2006 EP Trapped Into The Soulpit.
With Forming... the band open the album. This is a short but clever intro that lets you know exactly what to expect from Soulpit throughout this 52 minute album; a crushing example of death metal with some melodic elements.
When Reliance, the first proper song, kicked in I was instantly put in mind of Scandinavian melodic death metal bands such as Dark Tranquility and even Norther. It is not a carbon copy of the Scandinavian bands, but it has many facets of the Northern sound. The band utilize some clean backing vocals throughout the album but thankfully never descend into the depths of 'core' style awfulness.
Substantial is an album that generally seems to get heavier as it progresses, with the odd exception, notable the track Ephemeral Need. This is a track that is worthy of attention due to the use of female vocals courtesy of Antonella Buosi, singer for Italian Gothic metal band ScareCrown. The very instant that her voice appeared I was captivated. In a way its such a shame that her voice only appears on this one track. However, this is a death metal album and over use of this lady's fine voice would have ruined the impact and left the album as a watered-down version of what it should be. Kudos to the Soulpit guys for limiting themselves to only one song with Antonella singing.
The track Substance also features a guest musician in the form of guitarist Khaled Abbas who appears in the dueling solo featured on this track.
Technically Soulpit are a cut above most of the young bands I've heard lately. The guitarists wield their axes to the tunes of crushing riffs and technical solos with equal ease. The drumming is fantastic and whilst perhaps not in the league of, say, the late, great Vitek (Decapitated), Sebastiano Sartorello is an accomplished skin-man who lays a solid foundation for the band to build on. Undoubtedly a drummer to keep an eye on for the future!
Enrico Francescato is the man responsible for vocals and he does a good job. Again, reminiscent particularly of vocalists such as Petri Lindroos (Ensiferum) and Jari Mäenpää (Wintersun), but with a deeper timbre more akin to Mikael Stanner (Dark Tranquility).
This is a really good album that Soulpit should be proud of. It has enough different elements to keep any fan of melodic death metal interested and should also appeal to those who appreciate heavier music.