Ross The Boss - By Blood Sworn review


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Band: Ross The Boss
Album: By Blood Sworn
Release date: April 2018

01. By Blood Sworn
02. Among The Bones
03. This Is Vengeance
04. We Are The Night
05. Faith Of The Fallen
06. Devil's Day
07. Lilith
08. Play Among The Godz
09. Circle Of Damnation
10. Fistful Of Hate
11. Each Dawn I Die [Manowar cover][digipak bonus]
12. The Oath [Manowar cover][digipak bonus]
13. Hail And Kill [Manowar cover][digipak bonus]

Wimps and posers leave the hall for this is the review of the latest album by Ross The Boss, the band of Ross Friedman. For those who are either too young or simply metal-illiterate, Ross was Manowar's guitarist back when the dressed-in-leather and covered-in-baby-oil metal warriors were a good band.

The first six Manowar albums remain among my favourites in my CD collection and I admit giving up on the band after Kings Of Metal and the departure of "The Boss". So it makes total sense that upon the first notes of "By Blood Sworn", which is essentially a different version of the legendary "Blood Of My Enemies", nostalgia hit me hard on the head with a mace. Marc Lopes sounds like a mix of Eric Adams and Michael Kiske in his higher range screams and the epic style of the song, underlined by Mike LePond's (Symphony X) galloping bass, prepares the imaginary and bloodthirsty army of metal in your head for death or glory. So far, so good.

"Among The Bones" changes the mood abruptly with its '80s glam/hair metal vibe; a bit of a bizarre choice to follow the opening title track (the album in general suffers from odd choices regarding the songs' sequence) and the best cut Mötley Crüe never recorded. After that we're back to the Manowar battlefield again with "This Is Vengeance" or, in other words, the verse of "Kill With Power" meets the chorus of "Sign Of The Hammer". And then things get seriously mixed up.

We get U.S. power metal, Iced Earth-style ("We Are The Night"), hard rock hooks ("Devil's Day", "Play Amongst The Godz"), pseudo-progressive experimentation ("Lilith") and a whiff of Thin Lizzy worship ("Circle Of Damnation"). I've listened to this album a lot in an effort to comprehend its scope and really wanted to like it but every single time I found myself puzzled and confused.

And largely disappointed because Ross Friedman is one of my childhood heroes.

By Blood Sworn is not an outright bad release and some of the songs are quite alright or even good, but in many cases "The Boss" seems to rip himself off. On top of that the record as a whole sounds disjointed and severely lacks cohesion. The tracks give the impression that they have been conceived in different eras but were not included in previous releases (a few of them because they weren't good enough I presume) and Ross The Boss re-recorded them in order to release something new (?) after eight years of silence. It's a shame because the revamped line-up is a very talented one and could have done better.

I'm sorry boss, but the "heavy metal or no metal at all" catchphrase is not relevant anymore; it has to be good heavy metal too.


Written on 05.06.2018 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 123 users
05.06.2018 - 02:19
Lord Slothrop
But I want this to be good.
05.06.2018 - 07:26
Go listen to justin beaver if you don't like real metal
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
05.06.2018 - 16:16
Old Nick
@Lord Slothorp: I did too but you can't always get what you want mate

@Radu: I'm currently listening to the new Ghost

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