Ohio's Bound By Fate are an act that I would personally consider a bluesy type of southern fried stoner/doom and sludge metal that sounds a lot better on this sophomore than they did with the first time I heard it. I seem to recall passing on these guys the first time they were sent to me, but for some odd reason I really seem to dig it now. There's still some rough edges, like “Condemnation” which still has some harsh vocal issues. I understand he's going for a sort of death metal approach, but it seems like he might be killing his throat here. On the less vocal intensive cuts like “Broke Apart” and “Rebuild The Man” I'm reminded a bit more of Down and I think it suits both him and the rest of the band a bit better. I remember hearing “Crooked Blue” a while back and I did like it, but I'm hearing what I'd consider even better material on this debut record. Even though it's short, it shows you that these guys could really be something. I'll add that the entire solo on “Rebuild The Man” faded right into the background and needs to be raised (I literally couldn't hear it at all) but I'll be lenient as these guys do offer enough of a bite for people to take notice. Steadfast is a really thick and furious metal album that stands on it's own two feet pretty well, regardless of the fact that a few things might not have gone so well in the studio this first time around. There's no reason why a band like this shouldn't get some attention and I'm quite pleased with the amount of enraged vigor that I'm hearing here. I just don't think the growls on “Condemned” should be attempted again, as that just didn't fucking work at all. Other than that, I think it's a pretty decent record and I'd definitely recommend people looking for a hard-hitting shot of adrenal sludge to give it a listen. Bound By Fate certainly sound better here than on the last time I heard them, and hopefully they'll continue that trend on future albums. There's definitely promise here, especially if you're looking for a fist to the jaw.
(7 Tracks, 25:00)