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Soul Doctor: Way Back To The Bone

It's been a busy year for Tommy Heart. First he adds his powerful voice to another cracking Fair Warning album and now hot on the heels of FW's Aura comes Way Back To The Bone from the hard rocking yet melodic Soul Doctor.

The collaboration between Heart and guitarist Chris Lyne dates back to 1986 when the pair teamed up in the aptly named Heartlyne, which also included Soul Doctor bassist Jogy Rautenberg, and made quite an impact on the German metal scene. Before Heartlyne had a chance to make it big Tommy decided to take his considerable voice to V2 and then Zeno before finding a home with Fair Warning.

In 2001 Heart, Lyne and Rautenberg were back together again, however this time it was under the moniker of Soul Doctor and after releasing their self titled debut, 2002 saw them follow that up with Systems Go Wild. There have been a further two impressive albums since then and now some eight years after they formed we have studio album number five. Treading a line somewhere between later day Whitesnake, Mid period Europe and the Scorpions in their lighter moments Way Back To The Bone finds Soul Doctor firing on all cylinders and producing a memorable, catchy set of songs that are so infectious that you want to hear them time and again.

Kicking the album off in fine style is "First Man On The Moon", it is immediately obvious that this is a band who have no intention of taking any prisoners. The main riff is down and dirty with a sexy swagger that when you add some tasty keyboards and Heart's Coverdale like punch becomes a wonderful opening statement.

"Lightning And Thunder" maintains the standards with its undeniable Whitesnake like pulse and sneered vocal. Lyne stamps his class all over the track and even after only two songs there's no doubt that this is an assured band on top of their game. As the album moves on there's no slip in quality, "Can't Stand Losing" has a more commercial edge to it and returning original drummer Zacky makes his presence felt with a solid performance. The funky groove of "Love Crashed Down" is a welcome change of focus and as with the rest of the disc shows an awareness of how to pace an album that is all too often lacking in many rock releases these days.

The obligatory ballad also rears its head, however when it's as good and as varied as the heavily Europe inspired "Times Of Yesterday" with its acoustic intro that slowly builds into a mini epic tear jerker then it's inclusion is well justified.

Rautenberg glides his way through "Here Comes The Night" and it's slow verse makes the thumping chorus all the more effective, Lyne gets another chance to show his fiery fretboard skills with some great little runs and a blazing, squealing solo.

"Heartbreak Heartache" is neither of those things to Heart as his vocal on the song is one of the strongest on the whole album, this is a man who is lucky enough to own a charismatic, deep resonant voice, however more importantly he knows how to use it to maximum effect, sensing when to pull back and let the music take over and when to demand centre stage.

Lyne throws out a funky strutting guitar for "Coming Home" and his wailing short bursts are matched perfectly by a pounding bass line that has your head nodding to the beat. We are back in Europe territory with "Welcome To The Party" with a Norum inspired swirling riff and a driving beat from Zacky. Lyne peels off another great solo and Heart continues his stunning work.

"Take It While It's Hot" closes the album out with a bluesy Bad Company feel that once more changes the tempo of the album without interrupting its flow, it is a great grinding track and an excellent way to end the disc with its tremendous organ solo and guitar interplay.

Soul Doctor have once again put together a top notch set of rock songs that bury themselves in your head and refuse to release your brain from their hook laden grip.

Track listing
1. First Man On The Moon
2. Lightning And Thunder
3. Can't Stand Losing
4. Love Crashed Down (Boom Boom!)
5. Times Of Yesterday
6. Here Comes The Night
7. Heartache Heartbreak
8. Coming Home
9. Welcome To The Party
10. Take It While It's Hot

Added: November 7th 2009
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Band's Website
Hits: 2394
Language: english

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