ROSS THE BOSS - By Blood Sworn
May 4, 2018, a year ago
Talk about perfect timing. As his former Manowar bandmates announce they're calling it quits, ex-Dictators guitarist Ross The Boss (Friedman) assembles a killer band, with a singer (Marc Lopez) capable of hitting the highs required by the bravest Kings of Metal tunes. Why? Well, in addition to a trio of re-recorded early Manowar hymns on the digipak ("Each Dawn I Die", "The Oath" and Hail And Kill"), there's a few of the ten proper tracks that bear more than a passing resemblance to revered selections from upstate NY's brothers of metal. Case in point the titular opener, with scream, mid-paced guitar riff and "Look in their eyes" phrasing.
Elsewhere there's a similar Mano-shuffle, screams and lyrics with repeated use of the word "Die!" to commence "This Is Vengeance". Searing guitar characterizes "Among The Bones", whereas "We Are The Night" is a heavier construct, Lopez adding a guttural growl to his typically high ended vocal chords. Acoustic begun ballad (undercurrent of piano) "Faith Of The Fallen" sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. The guitars (especially tone) recall 70s Nugent. Good stuff! Solo bass begins "Lilith" (at 7:23, the longest inclusion), another (failed?) experiment with slow/heavy and moody, not Friedman's strong suit. "Playing Among The Godz" has a more modern sound. "Circle Of Damnation" is an almost poppy bounce and album closer "Fistful Of Hate" is a speedy, screamer.
Live, there's plenty of old Manowar aired, the studio stuff is just an excuse to tour, which is icing on the cake.