Album name: Soul Searcher
Band: Griever
Label: Independent
Release date: May 27, 2016
Reviewer: ThatDisgruntledDude (Metality contributor)

Soul Searcher’ is a 6 track EP by Griever, a 5-piece metalcore band hailing from England. Their sophomore effort combines machine gun staccato riffing, elaborate solos and the usual fare of clean and guttural vocals that you’d expect from a metalcore record.

Soul Searcher is a well-constructed blend of old school melodeath metal and modern metalcore, and 10 seconds into the EP, and you know that these guys grew up listening to In Flames, As I Lay Dying, Soilwork and the like. The music is stellar, and everything flows together seamlessly (a little too seamless for my taste, but I guess that’s the industry norm nowadays.) The production is top notch, the musicianship is virtuosic, the hooks stick; in fact, everything is executed close to near-perfection. But I still think that this record is mediocre at best.

Why the harsh words? What’s my gripe with this band?

Everything about this EP should tick all the right boxes. I really enjoy the songs, and I can definitely groove to them, but what I love and what is also Soul Searcher's biggest crutch is that they wear their influences a little too evidently on their sleeve. You’re able to pick out and identify the various bands that have been thrown into the mix when coming up with these songs. Imitation may be a form of flattery to an artist, but how long can you sustain that before you bring in your own true offering?

Obtaining a sound that defines you isn’t easy when you’ve got giant sized shoes to fill, but the world has so many copycats that it’s almost indiscernible and nigh impossible to tell apart most bands nowadays.

Unless you’re a Gojira or a Converge, odds are that you’re going to be overlooked. If, and it’s a big hypothetical IF, Soul Searcher was to be released somewhere in the early 2000’s, these guys would have been up there with those bands, and definitely a big league player.

But this is 2016. The metalcore era has come and gone, and while many bands such as Killswitch Engage and Unearth are still around, not much has been done to break the mold. Everything about Griever tells me that these guys have what it takes to be the next big thing out there, and that they have everything that it takes to take the metal scene by storm, but they’re still a long way off, and it’s not going to be easy carving their own niche.

Here’s to hoping that Griever’s next record pushes the boundaries and brings in their own take on the stagnant metalcore genre, instead of sticking to tried and tested formulas.


You can find Griever on Facebook here.

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