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Review: Soulhealer - The Kings of Bullet Alley
The Kings of Bullet Alley

Label: Inverse Records
Year released: 2012
Originally released in: 2011
Duration: 67:09
Tracks: 15
Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: December 7, 2012
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
The Kings of Bullet Alley

Rated 3/5 (60%) (5 Votes)

Melodic Heavy Metal, with a fair dose of Hard Rock, is what Finland's SoulHealer offers up on their debut, The Kings of Bullet Alley, which also includes the band's 4-track Dreamcatcher EP. SoulHealer's mixture of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock is far from forgettable, boring or tedious. The band's roots go deep into the heavier music of the 80s and names like Accept, Tarot, Iron Maiden, Whitesnake and others come to mind when listening to the album.

SoulHealer's sound has clearly been focused on catchy melodies and strong choruses. Vocalist Jori Kärki gives a good account of himself but isn't great, by any means. He has a somewhat one-dimensional delivery and a bit of trouble with his English pronunciation. The vocals aren't all that disturbing but even though the material on The Kings of Bullet Alley is generally good and flows well, there's no distinct identity. You've heard all this before and if the riff you hear at the 3:19 mark of "Nowhere Man" wasn't purposefully lifted from "Still of the Night," it means there is at least one big Whitesnake fan in the band.

The Dreamcatcher EP, included as a bonus, has more of a Hard Rock sound and the production is much weaker than the rest of The Kings of Bullet Alley. The guitar sound is thin but I assume it is that way on purpose to emphasize the Rock vibe of the songs. The last song from the EP, "Set Me Free," is an up-tempo, wild and catchy song, one of the best the band has written.

Who is The Kings of Bullet Valley's target audience? Mostly, fans of 80s Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. If that's your cup of tea, by all means, check out SoulHealer.

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