ALBUM REVIEW: Forged By Fortitude – Sons Of Texas

Formed in 2013, SONS OF TEXAS started making a name for themselves with first album Baptized in the Rio Grande two years later, and the album’s title track proved a big hit. They toured extensively with everyone from BUCKCHERRY to ALL THAT REMAINS, gaining recognition and are now releasing their second studio album, Forged By Fortitude.

The first track, Buy In To Sell Out has a very prominent drum track, growled vocals interchanged with singing and the odd scream, guitar solo that throws back to traditional rock. It has aspects of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH both musically and lyrically, with a lot of frustration and passion being dealt with. The chorus feels too repetitive, it draws attention away from the rest of the song as a weak point. In contrast, Feed The Need is more lyrically driven with a pleasing melody, like DROWNING POOL. It has mostly clean vocals from Mark Morales throughout, with the odd shout thrown in for good measure. There’s something very friendly and inviting about the melodic guitars, it doesn’t have the aggression of Buy In To Sell Out, shows another side of SONS OF TEXAS.

Cast In Stone opens very gently with ‘oohs’ and sorrow soaked guitars, and it continues with that more relaxed feel. The guitars and vocals volley for centre stage throughout, one making way for another, allowing each other to grow and show what they can do. Make no mistake, however, even on the gentler songs, the guitars and drums still rock hard.

Expedition To Perdition speeds up with gruff vocals charging through, running away with the Mike Villareal’s drums and backed up by the guitars. SONS OF TEXAS are full of energy and that certainly true here, Expedition To Perdition is a song to get pumped up to. Turnin The Page displays their ability to write a delightful melody, and pair it with the right vocals to create something you want to replay again and again. Gentler verses are a welcome reprieve in the album, and the right medium to discuss their ‘regret and shame’, but with the end message that they’re moving on, ‘turnin the page’ if you will.

Forged By Fortitude brings back the heavier rock, Jes De Hoyos showing off all his guitar skills, whilst Morales accompanies with gruff vocals, a good combination that complement one another. In the four years since their formation, SONS OF TEXAS have developed as a band and learnt what it means to tour, this is one of several songs where they discuss what they’ve learnt “If I knew back then what I know now”. It all comes to an end with Slam With The Lights On, the song with the strongest southern charm, opposed to straight hard rock. Bluesy guitars galore coupled with a strong accent tells you this is from Texas. As can be guessed from the title, not quite a love tale, but certainly contains adult themes expressed in a comedic and light-hearted manner.

SONS OF TEXAS take listeners through the full range of emotions from regret to anger, passion to shame in their second album Forged By Fortitude. It’s good quality, unabashed hard rock, with some southern charm thrown into the mix and no shortage of energy. Again and again in Forged By Fortitude they show their ability to write both hard rock and gentler, more emotionally driven songs.

Rating: 8/10

Forged By Fortitude - Sons of Texas

Forged By Fortitude is out now via Spinefarm Records.

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