CD, self-released, 2006
Soulchasm is Eric Dillon, a one-man industrial-tinged act in the vein of VAST. On his debut release, he weaves disparate elements of rock, industrial, electronica and broken beats into a streamlined whole.
The opening track, “Love is Real” builds from soft keys and muted splashes of jagged guitar into a solid, mid-tempo track with acoustic guitar twisting around crisp percussion. Eric’s voice is enjoyable though not remarkable, recalling a less shouty Chester Bennington (of Linkin Park), but he knows his range and is able to get the best from layering whispers over his sung verses call-and-response style. The last few minutes really show the promise of this act as the track, after gradually building in intensity, effortlessly switches into an Aphex Twin-esque breakbeat and keys coda.
“So Persistent (Cold into the Wired mix)” sees a Soulchasm tune whipped into a rave frenzy with harder beats, louder guitars and some classic rave bleeps before “My Façade (See Through mix)” slows things right down. A plodding four-four beat, downtuned fuzzy guitars and persistent keys push the song on into a piano-led epilogue.
“Call Me Back” brings us back to the original mixes and recalls Mesh’s “Fragile”-era sound – club beats with angry guitar and vocals that never push hard but fuse well together. “Carry On” closes the album on a high with pumping beats overlayed with intricate skittery percussion and raw guitars.
This debut is highly enjoyable if not particularly original. That said, many bands attempt this sound and sound like clones. This in not the case here – more that Soulchasm has yet to fully outgrow the sum of his influences and there are plenty of moments here that hint at what could be. With another EP to come next year and an album set to follow, let’s hope Soulchasm can build on what he”s only teased us with here.
— Christopher Fry