Sunday, March 27, 2016
LORDS OF BLACK: "II"
Label: Frontiers 2016
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Straight to the point. Nicely put arrangements and atmospheric keyboards, but does have a little bit of problem standing out from the crowd in the already over saturated genre of progressive melodic symphonic power metal? The Spanish Lords Of Black are going through several different channels and sources to come up with their sophomore release, simply entitled: II. And yes, their impressive vocalist, Ronnie Romero, also the new Rainbow singer for the upcoming tour and festivals.
II - it's got a little bit of everything, thus why yours truly hinted earlier at several different genres and styles. It's however a rather typical 'European' metal outfit and album that you can put next to the likes of Kamelot, Jorn, Pretty Maids, Royal Hunt, etc. Starts out great with the smashing trio of "Merciless", "Only One Life Away", "Everything You're Not", and with each new track getting lost in their metal world and struggling to find its way back to a more powerful than life agenda.
Heavily relying upon the power vocals by Romero to deliver the special extra and he certainly manage to squeeze out the last drop of nectar and juice out of his lungs (huh? what are you talking about? it's supposed to be the music review not the poem of nerdy nerds). You're sort of fed up with over-the-top vocals by track six, 'Cry No More', as you start to notice the similarities and Romero's constant need of hanging on to every note instead of changing and mixing things up. Annoying and not diverse enough in the long run? I definitely had enough at "Tears I Will Be" as it's a really dodgy tune full of ticks and tourette-like Dio-ish vocals. It's all nicely mixed and mastered by Roland Grapow (Helloween, Masterplan).
"Insane", the most annoying refrain and lyric ever? as they throw in every thing that sort of rhymes, pain, vain, name. Indeed Insane. Listening to their cover of "Lady Of The Lake", you'll understand why Blackmore decided to recruit Romero. The voice, not a songwriter nor lyricist, and doesn't contribute to more beyond those great vocals (simply just mix things up a bit next time). Blackmore doesn't enjoy strong figures or promoting his albums for that matter according to the Frontiers lawsuit? There's merely one top dog at the end of the Rainbow...