Friday, September 7, 2018

SOULS OF DEAF - Fortune Favours The Bold

Rating: RR
Label: Rock Company 2018
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

It's the Souls Of Deaf, man! Souls Of Deaf!!! (softly spoken in the voice of Grandpa Simpson). They are an Dutch band with a distinct metal flavour. They tread the fine line between eighties old school NWOBHM, hard rock, and the melodic hard core sound made popular by the likes of Prong. It's tight, meaty, heavy, and absolutely bulging with muscular riffs. Their dangerous looking singer (Francis van der Hoff) has clearly been inspired by Metallica's James Hetfield and the lads know how to mix it up with metal melodies and the aggressive attitude that far belies their moniker.

No major complaint regarding production, and whilst "Fortune Favour The Bold" is an extremely well executed metal album, it is almost too clinical, too safe, and dare I say too much of an deja vu experience in its structure and style. Their material rapdily becomes one-dimensional and the vocals overall fail to offer enough variety to hold my attention. For instance, "Forwards You Move", possible the best/worst Spinal Tap song since...ehh... Spinal Tap.

The band was formed in 2015 by bass player Sander Stappers and in guitar player Luc van Rens, drummer Carl Vereijken, and singer Francis van der Hoff, Stappers found like-minded metal heads. Perhaps it's merely just a question of time and coming up with another trick or two to add to their performances. One of my choices, "Fall From Grace", with an early to mid nineties classic metal sound to feature a bumping bass, enhanced tempo and grinding guitars that bring to mind the Prong metal either way. It's a good choice and match in terms of vocals as Van der Hoff allowing the gruff and rough delivery that fits the blunt metal approach. I'll have to say that it's desperately crying out beginners searching for identity.

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