Bourbon Souls

I’m not sure what to think about this. Bourbon Souls is the debut from Helsinki six piece Stråle (shimmer/shine/glow), and it’s a pure hard rock/alternative record, the first such that I’m aware on the usually death metal orientated FDA Records. The thing is, it’s kinda fun.

This is open window, driving own the highway, singing out loud rock. The vocals of front-man Ålarik are the clear highlight with a svelte tone that’s uplifting, yet a bit despondent, which carries over to much of the music. I get a weird Sentenced meets Soilwork (their most radio friendly stuff) meets Ignite, pop, mish mash vibe that I can’t quite put my finger on.

The Jens Bogren (Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy At The Gates, etc) mix/master is expectedly polished and big sounding, befitting these sort of arena rock anthems, and giving the affair a bit more ‘true’ metal heft. But its Ålarik’s voice that carries the songs with big brash choruses and subtle keyboards that get your foot involuntarily tapping as heard on opener “Straaling”, “Parasite”, “Wasted” and “Arnold”. The somber elements surface for the likes of “No One Around Me”, closer “The King of Silence” and ballad-ish “When Everything Disappears” which still deliver sturdy guitar driven rock, but have a little more downtrodden aura

Certainly not something I would go out and purchase, but certainly a enjoyable out of my comfort zone listen that when one of the songs comes on I hum along and bob my head. And I applaud FDA records for stepping out of their comfort zone as well with this release. It will be interesting to see if its a trend for the label or simply a surprisingly tolerable one off.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 3rd, 2020


  1. Commented by: Steve K

    Not bad! Your Soilwork/Sentenced comparison is spot-on. As soon as the band started playing, I was immediately reminded of “Figure Number 5.”

    Like you said, not an all-the-time kind of thing, but a cool little palate cleanser!

  2. Commented by: MetalAndrew

    Yes! And I also hear a bit of Volbeat in there too. But sounds definitely interesting!

  3. Commented by: J. Mays

    I’m definitely going to check this out more. I like this kind of thing once in a while and I hear the Soilwork comparison.

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