Following their successful “Mountain of Fire” EP in 2015, Dutch hard rockers, Harbour of Souls, have released the follow-up EP, Doomsayer, earlier this year.
From the moment that the first song, “The Iron Never Lies” kicks in, you get a real sense of just exactly what this band is all about. There’s a very old-school approach to their sound, and they certainly wouldn’t have been out of place in the late 70’s or early 80’s. That is not an insult – I find myself thoroughly enjoying the simplistic approach here. Driven by a stripped back rhythm section, great riffs, stellar leads and NWOBHM style vocals.
“Doomsayer” is up next, and that rhythm section is no longer stripped back. This is a very bass driven song, with drumming that is much busier, but not overly so. Again, there are riffs a plenty and the vocals throw off a real Maiden vibe at times. This EP is going to really appeal to fans of “old school” metal – it’s certainly appealing to me!
“Queen On Her Throne” features a groove that is hard to ignore. Again, the bass is thumping it’s way to the forefront while the rest of the rhythm section acts as the anchor. Up next is “Ministry of Power” and instantly you’ll be thinking of Sabbath. A massive riff takes us into doom territory, but soon gives way to a different animal as the tempo shifts from slow and sludgy to borderline thrash at times. This track is the absolute highlight for me.
So far, I’m completely consumed by this EP. It feels like I’m hearing everything that made the younger me in to a metalhead in the first place. While Harbour Of Souls would not be considered a metal band by today’s standards, this is the kind of music that will always be metal to me!
Continuing on for the final track “Victory”, the band deliver another riff driven slab of traditional heavy metal. Lyrics like “we stand with sword and shield, we won’t back down” tend to bring out a snigger from people these days, but I fucking love it!
If this EP doesn’t have you proudly wearing your battle jacket by the end of play, there’s something wrong with you. More of this please, Harbour of Souls.
Review by Shayne McGowan