Frontiers Records [Release Date 05.06.15]
Hard to believe but the revised line up of House Of Lords put together in 2006 by sole original member James Christian has now released substantially more albums than the original band with Gregg Giuffria, this being an impressive sixth studio album in that time.
However these days they are a slightly different beast, the pomp of old replaced by a leaner, even verging on metallic approach and to be frank having seen them on live shows I have never really engaged with their newer material, rather enduring it waiting for the familiar stuff. I may be the wrong person to be reviewing this as there are plenty of devotees of their recent material.
This album sees something of an internal contrast with James’ more melodic approach competing with Jimi Bell’s heavy shredding guitar style and not always in a compatible manner.
Examples include ‘Call My Bluff’ where he delivers a solo utterly out of context with the song. ‘Die To Tell’, and ’100 mph’ which goes from a melodic bridge to a chorus straight out of early Saxon. Jimi is highly regarded, but at times to me he seems to be guilty of showing off and cramming in as many notes as possible.
‘We Will Always Be’ is a ballad which provides a hint of the old House of Lords while ‘Pillar Of Salt’, rather spoiled by indecipherable lyrics is an interesting departure in style with a late-Beatles feel in places.
The other black mark for me was that on the faster tracks James’ voice sounds husky and strained and on the likes of the title track and ‘Another Dawn’, otherwise one of the strongest, it is painful to listen to at times as he strives to reach the high notes.
As the rapid fire ‘Stand And Deliver’ brought the album to a climax, with another shredding solo, I regret the fact that this is still not the album to turn round my opinion of modern day House Of Lords. ***
Review by Andy Nathan
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09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
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14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)
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THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
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