Bloodbound – Rise Of The Dragon Empire Review

50710999_2527599240590116_3806848059560689664_nIf swordbearing was a term or scale to describe metal bands, Swedish power metallers Bloodbound would make first place in swordbeariness, even before the likes of ManowarRise Of The Dragon Empire, their 8th album already, is the third album in the band’s discography to deal with the happenings in Game Of Thrones, or A Song Of Ice And Fire for booklovers. And that’s a great source of inspiration since Stormborn, their 2014 record, was one of the strongest albums Bloodbound put out since their revival in 2011 with then new singer Patrik Johansson and the first to draw inspo from the famous book/TV series, spawning one of the band’s greatest hits, “Iron Throne”. Whereas Stormborn was a pretty brutal power metal record in the vein of earlier Sabaton records, War Of Dragons in 2017 and this year’s Rise Of The Dragon Empire decelerate a bit. Continue reading “Bloodbound – Rise Of The Dragon Empire Review”

Dynazty – Firesign Review

38614493_10155362015946504_3741389648413327360_nIn 2016, Dynazty released the best power metal album of the year. Titanic Mass was a massive titan of hit rate, with every song being amazing in its own right. This caught me by surprise as I’d never even heard of the band before. What, me, the power metal mastermind? That’s because Dynazty went through some major changes in their rather short history. Their first release Bring The Thunder in 2009 was deep, deep in sleaze rock/metal revival territory à la Reckless Love or H.E.A.T. The same holds true for the two follow-up records in 2011 and 2012, only with 2014’s Renatus shifting towards the… right direction. Titanic Mass saw the band at the top of their power metal evolution with an extremely modern high-energy sound in the vein of Amaranthe or Borealis. Continue reading “Dynazty – Firesign Review”

Ross The Boss – By Blood Sworn Review

guess what ? I invented Manowar therefore i can record & perform anything i want . Any more stupid questions ?

guess what i dont have to do anything. Esp. What brave knuckleheaded internet warriors like you want me to do . Bronx greetings to you

2304600 (1).jpgI talked about how Crematory had no success insulting people on the internet who disliked their music, and Ross Friedman who calls himself The Boss (there is only one Boss, but that’s a different topic…) is portraying a level of insecurity, immaturity and too much free time on youtube as well (above comments taken from /watch?v=KrzIcFcMrSo). The problem with Crematory was that the band (“Germany’s leading metal band”) couldn’t back it up with any sort of relevant releases since the ’90s. Mr. Friedman on the other hand is quite the legend, having shaped a part of Manowar‘s success in the ’80s with his guitar playing and some amount of songwriting on albums like Kings Of Metal, after which he left the band. Past glory aside, can Ross The Boss, despite his childish sobriquet, substantiate his attitude with powerful music blowing the POSERS away or is it as disappointing as Crematory‘s output?

Opening title track “By Blood Sworn” impresses twofold: the songwriting indeed sounds like 1988’s Kings Of Metal, the riffs and pulsating drums are reminiscent of Manowar‘s typical fist-pumping, chest-thumping adrenaline filled sound. The other impression, albeit negative, is the sound. Immediately you will notice the washed-out sounding drums and guitars. I don’t understand what Mr. Friedman was going for here – this doesn’t sound old school, it sounds like a 64 kbit/s conversion of an otherwise fine sound. No, it’s not my files, you can listen to the terrible sound yourself here.

Sound is not all, and I can forgive By Blood Sworn‘s poor production if the songs are good. Sadly, after the initial positive impression with the powerful title track, “Among The Bones” features some terrible ’80s glam impressions with a highly generic chorus. What is going on here? This is far from the usual high-octane sound Manowar are known for, and which even Mr. Friedman himself displayed with his first two albums in 2008 and 2010 as Ross The Boss. Granted, those albums weren’t high quality songwriting either, but they at least channeled the spirit of true metal.

 

It seems like two souls live in Friedman’s chest as immediately he follows up with “This Is Vengeance”, probably the best track on the album. That doesn’t make it a great track, but the generic heavy metal clientele will like it. Some nice screams, a catchy chorus and energetic drums make an enjoyable, if average Manowar style banger. With this one being the most thrilling song of By Blood Sworn, you know it is only going downhill from here. With tracks like “We Are The Night”, “Devil’s Day” and “Circle Of Damnation” Ross The Boss only reinforces the mix of groovy glam metal and heavy metal. The solos are utterly boring and generic, not what I’d expect from an expert legend like Ross. I don’t know why he is limiting his prowess to common Mötley Crüe type metal tracks.

By Blood Sworn not only suffers from a subpar sound and weird (not in the good way) songwriting, but singer Marc Lopes performs the finishing move on this album’s death. His voice only knows one note and one timbre, kind of aggressive, squealy mid to high “singing”. This is not a good fit for a rather melodic heavy metal genre and I could rather see him in a sleazy rock band or a thrash metal outfit. Here due to his incredibly inflexible voice, all vocal lines (and songs) sound the same and lack energy. While the singer of the two previous releases Patrick Fuchs could still pull off a sweet Eric Adams impression, Marc Lopes is less of a singer and more of a tortured chicken squealing the same notes over and over.

As such, By Blood Sworn is a gruesome follow up to two fine Manowar clone albums and can’t even be enjoyed by the most devout of true metal fans as Mr. Friedman is going some really strange directions with his sound. It took eight years, but maybe it is time to stop if that’s all he can pull off after this time. The album inexplicably features THREE Manowar cover songs. Come on, it’s over, stop living in the past. Oh wait, I forgot.

guess what ? I invented Manowar therefore i can record & perform anything i want . Any more stupid questions ?

Chris, 04/19/2018

Format reviewed: mp3 320 kBit/s | DR Value: 6
Label: AFM Records
Links: Facebook | ross-the-boss.com
Release date: 04/20/2018