"Hailing from Lawrence, Kansas, Samothrace have come out of nowhere with a stunning debut album that mixes the girth and throb of psychedelic sludge/Post Rock (think Minsk and Rwake) with the utterly rending, layered harmonies and beautiful yet wilting melody of Anathema, Morgion or even the Finnish doom/death scene. Life's Trade is four songs of raining, soul crushing music that will leave your heart shattered and spent but with a glimmer of hope gleaming through the shroud of despondency. Seriously, the mix of typically fuzzed out Sanford Parker produced sludge/doom, gruff roars, sprawling ambience and truly evocative, layered guitar work might move you to tears - it almost did to me. Like Deadbird, Samothrace isn’t the biggest name in the genre, but by god have they delivered one of the year’s better albums and like Deadbird’s Twilight Ritual, look for Life’s Trade to flirt with my year end list."
"Somewhere between Neurosis, Sunn O))), The Cure, Earth, Boris and Burzum does Samothrace fall. Chew on that a minute. This album could’ve been straight-up black metal given the coagulated throat swellings of Bryan L. Spinks. Intended to contribute to the raw climate of Samothrace’s cumbersome note hauls, Spinks and the ambient metal group is frequently best digested with an antidepressant on their debut album Life’s Trade. Wallowing in self-deprecating, gut-searing wails, Spinks and his chunk-busting bandmates from Lawrence, Kansas create a tone-drenched album filled with austere desolation, even as the band professes to harbor a positive outlook on life through their largely uninviting compositions. By and large, this afflicted album moves intentionally sluggish for many ticks of these drawn out laments."
"At times Samothrace picks up the tempo with steadier rhythms and winding guitar lines, found all over the appropriately-titled “Cacophony,” while other areas press heaviness upon the eyelids in comatose sleepwalk stretches. Largely Samothrace’s scheme appears to step up the pace just a hair above the death drags of Sunn O))) and fuse Neurosis-type of distorted sound sculptures, Robert Smith dejection and apoplectic Xasthur or Leviathan-esque satanic yelps. Samothrace knows how to cut a deep nerve with this disturbed and improbably buoyant excursion into madness."
Ray Van Horn, Jr.