Frontiers [Release date 24.03.17]
House Of Lords return with their eleventh studio album and a new bassist, Chris Tristram, who replaces the departing Chris McCarvill, who has been in the band since 2005. The other thing to note is that the keyboards have been used a little more, most played by James Christian, although Whitesnake’s Michello Luppi guests on one song, as does Frontiers current ‘go to’ man Alessandro Del Vecchio.
James Christian’s other half Robin Beck (who has a new solo album due on the same label sometime next year) adds her backing vocals which helps make the choruses have a bigger feel about them.
Speaking of keyboards, a suitably pomp keys intro heralds the album’s first song ‘Harlequin’. A typical House Of Lords hard rocker with guitarist Jimi Bell in suitably fine form on both the riffs and solos.
My fellow GRTR! colleague Andy Nathan has yet to be taken with the modern day House Of Lords sound, however I do think this album could change his and fellow doubters minds.
Songs like ‘Ocean Divide’ and ‘New Day Breakin’ have classic melodic rock melodies and catchy choruses, with just enough guitar to prevent it becoming a metal shredfest. Heck there is even a keyboard riff on ‘Reign Of Fire’. The slightly plodding blues based ‘Concussion’ lets the side down a bit though.
James Christian’s vocals still have that raspy tone and he still has a great vocal power. The slower refrains of ‘Hit The Wall’ show his singing off nicely.
I have not been overly taken by the last album 2015′s ’Indestructible’, however ‘Saint Of The Lost Souls’ will please the band’s fans and is one set for repeat plays. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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