Electric sitar lends a mysterious and exotic touch at the start of the title cut from The Vow Of Seth, the new five song EP from The Soul Exchange. The song moves from there at an unhurried pace, hard bass and drums providing a thick, solid foundation for the heavy guitar riffs of brothers Hans and Thomas von Bell. The Soul Exchange won’t be rushed in their music, they play a very downtempo style of melodic metal and the songs on Vow all spill on over five minutes each; there’s over thirty minutes of music on the EP. The result of the pacing adds an element of atmospheric space to the recording. “Back To The Dark” starts with an ominous spoken-word diatribe before moving in at a dirge-like pace. Third track “The Deed Is Done” has some vocal harmony onto a mournful chorus, while next song “Seek The Demon” has some sonic equivalencies with Tony Martin-era Sabbath. Singer/keyboardist Daniel John has a strong, soulful voices that meshes well with the dark themes of the material. Closer “My Mortal Soul” opens and stays with piano and violin; the guitars and drums don’t come in until the four-minute mark as the song builds to a slow crescendo. Overall, all of unique musical touches help The Vow Of Seth reward the patient listener who doesn’t mind restrained but carefully crafted songs; it is a release where the players serve the songs rather than the songs serving the players.
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