If you need a cure for mundane Metal, then the doctor is in -- Soul Doctor, that is. The German band has just released Blood Runs Cold, a 10-track effort in the vein of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, or Cheap Trick. The lofty comparisons make sense: Deep Purple bandmates Joe Lynn Turner and Glenn Hughes lent their songwriting talents to Soul Doctor. Formed by singer Tommy Heart and guitarist Chris Lyne at the end of the 1990s, the music is a mix of European sensibilities and American guitar style. Somehow, it works.
The title track kicks off the album, but things pick up with “Temptation.” In many ways, “Temptation” is the high point of Blood Runs Cold, but that isn’t to say the album peaks at track number two. “Temptation” is high quality, Blues-based Rock. Great lyrics and even better vocals make the song. Heart has an amazing voice, and he hits both lower and upper registers on “Temptation.” Perhaps best of all, the song utilizes a lengthy guitar solo akin to most Classic Rock tracks. Yes, there is a whammy bar, but there is also immense skill here.
After the upbeat pace of “Temptation,” Soul Doctor slows down just a little for “Laugh In The Face Of Danger.” The song is still a rocker, in a slower tempo and lower key. The bass is very audible and that compliments Heart’s voice. Perhaps above all else, Soul Doctor know how to create songs that work with their vocalist. This gives Blood Runs Cold a very cohesive feel. “Laugh In The Face Of Danger” also features a killer guitar solo. It doesn’t overpower the song, but makes it more complete -– a delicate balance for any band.
While getting to the midpoint of Blood Runs Cold, “F.A.F.O.D.” sounds just like Led Zeppelin. As a matter of fact, there’s even an intro almost identical to the very famous “Black Dog.” “F.A.F.O.D.” is a good tune, but not as good as “The Ocean.” In fact, “The Ocean” is as good as it gets on Blood Runs Cold. Here, you get strings, acoustic guitars, emotional lyrics, and yes -- ocean sounds. If Soul Doctor has a power ballad to offer, then it’s “The Ocean.” Composed in the vein of classic Kansas, (think a modern day “Dust In The Wind”) this is the song that makes you flick your lighter.
Blood Runs Cold closes with “Revolution,” “Justine,” and “Youngblood.” The latter has guitars in the vein of Tesla, but the vocals are pretty unique to Soul Doctor. Perhaps the best thing about this band is the ability to utilize so many different influences while keeping a distinctive sound. Just maybe Blood Runs Cold will push Soul Doctor into the mainstream.
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