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ROSS THE BOSS By Blood Sworn

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Friday, May 4, 2018 @ 12:27 AM


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ROSS THE BOSS
By Blood Sworn

2018 AFM Records




Another hot release for 2018 is the third solo album, By Blood Sworn, from guitarist ROSS THE BOSS. The current DEATH DEALER and former MANOWAR guitarist has assembled a very strong lineup, which consists of: Mike LePond (SYMPHONY X, SILENT ASSASSINS) on bass, Lance Barnewold (SILENT ASSASSINS) on drums, and the vocal talents of Marc Lopes (LET US PREY).

When you press play and unleash the title track, “By Blood Sworn”, the band wastes no time getting right to business. “Prepare your hearts, for death’s cold hands…” leaps forth from the speakers with a razor sharp guitar riff and Lopes’ vocal prowess. His voice, which is strong and indisputably clear, finds its home high in the mix. You can view the video for the title track on KNAC.COM HERE. The first three songs on the album are among my favorites. The title track, “Among The Bones” and the vicious “This Is Vengeance” are all crushing tracks, which have been added to my list of favorite tracks of the year. “Among The Bones” features a nice crunchy riff and lead from Ross and a memorable chorus. “This Is Vengeance” reminds me the most of MANOWAR on this album. The multiple stratospheric notes Lopes reaches during the song are among the best moments to be sure.

“We Are The Night” is a satisfyingly ferocious track that builds up to a glorious crescendo, culminating with the chorus. “Faith Of The Fallen” is a ballad that has an exotic feel to it, precipitated by Ross’ acoustic guitar. LePond’s bassline helps guide the song along. “Devil’s Day” is a short blast of power rock featuring additional high octave notes from Lopes. The most intriguing (and longest) track on By Blood Sworn is “Lilith”, a song based on the mythological female demon of the night. The track begins with LePond’s sneaky bass line, which slides along like a snake. The track describes the titular woman and eventually explodes into full-on rock mode, then returns to the bluesy groove for the outro. “Play Among The Godz” offers an up-tempo power metal look at total devastation, while “Mother Of Horrors” gets back to a more hard rock feel. Lopes hits more high notes and Ross really delivers some killer riffs on this track. Closer “Fistful Of Hate” has a defiant message, with Lopes delivering some of his most passionate vocals on the album. There are three bonus tracks on the digipak, all remakes of classic MANOWAR songs: “Each Dawn I Die”, “The Oath” and “Hail And Kill”.

By Blood Sworn is at its core an old school metal album, yet with modern production values -- it sounds fresh. I think fans of MANOWAR are going to like this album; there are enough references throughout the album to keep them satisfied. Fans of modern power metal are going to find a little something different here to latch on to. For my money, this is the best ROSS THE BOSS album so far. The riffs here are some of Ross’ best ever put to tape. It’s truly amazing that he is this inspired after over 40 years in music. He has found a great new singer in Marc Lopes. Marc amazes me with his range and ability to hit powerful and extended notes. Lance Barnewald’s drumming is powerful and aggressive. Stan Decker’s awesome cover art serves as yet another reason to pick this album up. Real metal fans take a listen! By Blood Sworn is now available from AFM Records.

4.8 Out Of 5.0


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