Souls Extolled is a blast of proto-metal and ska punk from Austin, Texas. Fusing generations of influences from indie rock to grunge, punk, and reggae the bands’ dirty blend is provocative yet familiar. Accents of ska and psychedelia revolve around a hard rock core with gritty and debaucherous lyrics. The trio looks the part of a possessed street gang from an earlier time. Often clouded in smoke and accompanied by a mysterious masked figure, their songs are dripping with existential angst and vulgarity. With their intense vibe nostalgic of the classic rock icons they evoke, they're an explosive exhibition of modern rock music!
Honolulu-grown singer-songwriter and guitarist Zach Black conceived the idea for Souls Extolled in 2014 while attending The University of Texas at Austin. His vision for an intense rock band with reggae, ska, psychedelic, and rap accents, as well as existential and spiritual themes, was partially fulfilled as the original lineup broke into the Austin music scene Fall of that year. But in mid-2015 among disagreements, drug and alcohol issues, and various other problems, Black put the project on hold to focus on other endeavors. As time went on he grew evermore fond of the idea for Souls Extolled, and slowly added to its song catalog as he day-dreamed its eventual return. Then in late-2018 after several years of playing lead guitar for various projects, including the rock rap group Bad Rituals, Black recruited local veteran bassist JP Ortiz, and the drummer of Fair City Fire, Joe Valadez, to accompany him for several of his “solo project” gigs in downtown Austin. Across a few months of gigging together the trio discovered their genuine musical chemistry and mutual love for high-energy rock music. When Zach spontaneously brought his blacked-out Strat and modified Fender Bassman to a rehearsal in February 2019, they jammed some of his rock ideas and the revamped Souls Extolled was born! Only days later the new lineup made their debut at a house party and began burning through Austin's live music scene.
The band enjoyed an excellent first year in 2019 as they released their inaugural record “Follow the Ghosts” and made their first appearances at some of the most prestigious venues in central Texas. Tracks from the record received radio airtime, lots of playlist ads, significant regional and international media coverage, and several notable reviews. In addition to that the guys had the pleasure of appearing on multiple local radio shows and podcasts, and successfully threw a few major events of their own including The Super Epic House Party during SXSW and The Restless Kind Boat Party on Lake Travis in the summer.
As for most artists 2020 has been slow for Souls Extolled in terms of gigging, but on December 4th they dropped their second studio album “Seraphic War”. Seraphic War is a concept record about spiritual, cultural, and political revolution. It tells the story of humanity losing, or perhaps making its way using ideas from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, The Satanic Bible, Revolutionary Theory, and folklore such as that of The Lord of the Rings. The majority of the record fuses proto-metal, psychedelic rock, and ska punk through a balanced and concise formula that is the bands’ sound. However, the band remains eclectic with rap rock, indie, and folk flashes that really highlight their appetite for ingenuity. 100% of sales from Seraphic War are going to the Police Oversight Project in Austin, Texas. The band looks forward to playing all over Texas and the US in 2021!
“When they see Souls Extolled, I don’t want them to say we were the tightest or the most talented. I want them to say we would have burned the fucking stage down if we could have."
- Zach Black