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Souls Of Deaf: Fortune Favors The Bold

There’s a certain irony about a band who stick firmly to the tried and tested calling their debut album, Fortune Favors The Bold. Souls Of Deaf are that band and while the album art on their aforementioned first offering may shout ‘Asia, Yes, Uriah Heep’, what these Dutch chaps offer up is much more straight up, foot to the floor, traditional metal. “Chasing Deaf” gets us underway with bristling riffs and clattering drums, pulling influences from the UK and US metal and hard rock scenes of the 80s as it does so. The guys involved, Francis Ven Der Hoff (vocals), Luc Van Rens (guitars), Sander Stappers (bass) and Carl Vereijken (drums) come with, according to the band’s website, considerable experience in the underground Dutch scene and it has to be said that it shows. The guitar solo on “Fall From Grace” being sharp and precise, while the rhythm section are locked in tight as they add just the right amount of groove to the full force attack. It’s hard to pinpoint whether SoD are more strongly inspired by the 70s NWOBHM scene, the 80s US metal sound, or indeed, as “My Will Be Done” suggests, a more 90s, Alice In Chains like grind. But to their credit the bases being covered are all re-portrayed in reasonably fine style.

Van Der Hoff is something of a workmanlike presence behind the mic, seldom reaching for many high notes, or really offering a low end roar and yet he does enough to embellish the tight, if hardly spectacular song writing. And ultimately that’s the rub here; for all that Souls Of Deaf are energetic and undoubtedly hammer out songs that mean a lot to them, “Rushed To The Bone” flounders when the vocals along echo to lines like ‘ you over with my 4 by 4…’, which while certainly painting a picture, is hardly very ‘rock n’ roll’. And it’s that nearly but not quiteness about Fortune Favors The Bold that initially grabs your attention before letting it slip away.

The album’s title track does pound and pump like Judas Priest, but without a piercing scream a’la Halford, it just doesn’t hit home as you’d like, while “Out To Lunch” does a decent job of melding Hanoi Rocks to Motorhead, the sleazier growl undoubtedly one of the album’s highlights. But even here we seem to be in a halfway house of sorts, where the more effort SoD put in, the less of a blistering effect they create.

Look, I’m being harsh here. Fortune Favors The Bold is a perfectly decent hard rock/metal album and one that possesses a few moments that just about stop you in your tracks. It never quite manages to completely pull that trick off however, and in the end while this is an enjoyable enough album, it’s not likely to be something you’ll pull down from your CD shelves on a regular basis.

Track Listing
1. Chasing Deaf
2. Fall From Grace
3. Fortune Favors The Bold
4. Adrenaline Takes Control
5. Forwards You Move
6. Out To Lunch
7. My Will Be Done
8. Rushed To The Bone
9. Pennsylvania
10. The Subject Of Your Crime

Added: November 23rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Souls of Deaf @ bandcamp
Hits: 1029
Language: english

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