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On disc: Switchtense

Confrontation Of Souls - Stephanie Malin - 8 stars

Confrontation Of Souls

Confrontation Of Souls
(Rastilho Records - 2009)

Confrontation Of Souls is the first full-length album from Portuguese thrash metallers Switchtense. After the short introduction title track, the first real song, Infected Blood, kicks in with an oddly dark groove sound and pounding guitar riffs. The Gallery Of Horrors explores a terrifying world of sadism and torture through the medium of metal heavy enough to make your ears bleed. The band continues from there, and although it is not exactly the same, an all too familiar riff can be heard in Into The Words Of Chaos. The Descent also sounds as though it will be disappointingly similar at first, but after the first twenty seconds or so, it really establishes itself as something unique; the chord progressions are particularly unforgettable, and the song seems to make the most of every second. This Misery is more brooding and slow than the previous few songs to start off with, but it soon picks up again with the signature vigorous vocals and cacophonous instruments to create pure, thrash metal madness. The short and sweet State Of Resignation unleashes some untamed and wild riffs which sound as though they were forged in the fires of Hell. The song Origins Of Darkness occasionally has some surprisingly epic elements to it, mixed in with the usual onslaught of dread; the chorus in particular shines out from the rest of the album. The cries of "The time has come!" in the chorus of Second Life beckon the listener to shout along, and the riffs are hard-hitting and perfect for headbanging along to. The Last Man Standing has less that stands out, although the guitar work towards the end of the song is enjoyable. The album finishes off with Soldiers Of Rage which, although fairly simplistic, is more melodic than a lot of the album, and if anything, its repetitive nature sets it up to be memorable; guitarists Nuno Pardal and Neto really seem to use this song to show off their abilities, too. Switchtense set themselves up well with this album. Their second self-titled album Switchtense was also an extreme metal success, and it looks as though the band may release some more top quality material in the future.

8 stars

Stephanie Malin


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