Souls Highway (Napalm)
by Scott Hefflon
Beseech has reinvented itself many times, and the current incarnation is truly beautiful. Formed in Sweden in 1992, the band released their debut on Metal Blade in ’98. They then released a record for Pavement. After touring with Theatre of Tragedy and Lacuna Coil, they left Pavement and found a home on Napalm. And despite scaling back in the U.S. (like they were a powerhouse in a country where nü metal is the “metal” of the majority), Napalm seems like a good home for this band. Rich, beautiful Gothic metal with deep, Type O male vocals (manly like Rammstein, not goofy like Moonspell) and strong, non-wispy female vocals. Hard to really nail why, but the duel voices work magically over the metal chugging riffs and delicate, reverb-drenched arpeggios. Song after song, over half are memorable and moving Goth metal gems, like Type O in their heyday, simply a pleasure to hear again and again. “Between the Lines” and “Fiction City” are near-perfect examples of dark duets, melodic mid-tempo metal with balanced vocals, but you just can’t beat the bonus track, a bassy, plodding cover of Abba’s “Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight).” A brave pick, a great song (what, In Flames can cover Depeche Mode’s “Everything Counts” but no one can cover these dancing queens?), and a real thrill to hear a Peter Steele-ish voice sing it.