A vibrant and very professional exhibit of pummeling riffs and haunting melodies by a one-man band from Chicago, integrating components of Sludge and Post-Metal with nuances from several other rock and metal styles.
If you only know one-man bands that play the most visceral and aggressive form of Black Metal, the fusion of Sludge Metal and Post-Metal blasted by American multi-instrumentalist Josh Parlette (bass player for Chicago-based Sludge/Noise trio Escape is not Freedom) under his brand new solo project Soul Attrition might change the way you see the work of those lone rangers of heavy music. Highly influenced by renowned acts such as Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Tool, Deftones and Soundgarden, among others, Josh spent the winter of 2017/2018 recording songs for what would become his debut album under the name Soul Attrition, titled Vashon Rain, integrating components of Post-Metal, Grunge, Doom, Sludge and Alternative Metal and Rock with a focus on pummeling riffs and haunting melodies in order to create both an emotive and driving sound.
All guitars, bass, percussion programming and vocals in Vashon Rain were performed by Josh himself, with the production of the album being performed by Shane Hochstetler at Howl Street Recordings, in Milwaukee, while the mastering was performed by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering, in Chicago. And all the hard work and dedication Josh put into creating Vashon Rain paid off, with the final result sounding not only very professional and crisp, but you can easily savor every single note extracted from each instrument, making the experience of listening to his debut solo album a lot more entertaining and pleasant.
As soon as you hit play, distorted guitar lines set the tone in the opening track Sinking, being gradually joined by low-tuned bass lines, sluggish beats and anguished vocals, resulting in an embracing fusion of the music by Nirvana, Tool and Deftones and sounding as dark and melancholic as it can be. The following track, titled Thirteen, is just as dense as its predecessor, being the perfect soundtrack for an obscure B-side thriller with Josh once again delivering razor-edged riffs and demented vocal lines in over five minutes of top-tier modern-day Sludge Metal. Moreover, it’s just impressive how organic the programmed drums feel, showcasing the amazing job done by Josh in this field. And melancholy flows from his strings in another somber tune titled Remission, an underground and raw version of the music played by Nirvana with hints of Doom Metal and Post-Metal. Furthermore, it has a truly mesmerizing vibe thanks to the interesting mix of clean, melodic vocals and slow and steady beats, ending in an absolutely serene and gloomy way.
Then we have metallic bass lines, fierce beats and endless melancholy flowing from the guitar riffs in another Post-Metal exhibit by Josh and his Soul Attrition entitled Fatal Flaw, with the music growing in intensity until it reaches a more aggressive stage than all previous songs, flowing back and forth in a sea of tranquility and rage. Acoustic guitar lines dictate the rhythm in the instrumental title-track Vashon Rain, before Unexpected Affront comes crushing our souls with its cryptic words, eerie atmosphere and delicate pace, once again evolving into a wicked feast of Sludge and Post-Metal sounds and tones with its breaks and variations making it feel like two or three songs in one. And the last blast of melancholy and pain by Soul Attrition comes in the form of a contemporary fusion of rock and metal titled Euclid, with its sluggish rhythm being led by the steady sound of drums blended with Josh’s introspective vocals, generating an enfolding ambience and, therefore, closing the album in a serene manner.
You can get more details about the work by this lone wolf of Sludge and Post-Metal by visiting Soul Attrition’s Facebook page, and if the music played by Josh is your cup of tea you can grab your copy of Vashon Rain directly from the project’s BandCamp page, from CD Baby or from Amazon. Soul Attrition might just be Josh’s newborn baby at the moment, but based on the high quality of the music and the utmost professionalism found in Vashon Rain, we can rest assured the project will keep growing and evolving, perhaps even becoming a full-bodied band in the future. And at least for now we can sit down, relax and enjoy this excellent album of rock and metal music from the always vibrant Chicago independent scene.
Best moments of the album: Thirteen and Fatal Flaw.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2018 Independent
1. Sinking 4:56
2. Thirteen 5:20
3. Remission 7:52
4. Fatal Flaw 5:12
5. Vashon Rain 2:11
6. Unexpected Affront 7:02
7. Euclid 6:39
Josh Parlette – vocals, guitars, bass, percussion programming