Dead Lord - 'Heads Held High'

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Dead Lord - 'Heads Held High'

DL peddles a decent, vintage-influenced sound and proudly wears their Lizzy influences on their sleeves.

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover and the same goes for albums; when the Reviews Ed sent me this, one look at the album art made me think "oh, here we go, a poor man's Black Sabbath". However, despite the skull being held aloft and the old-school choice of font, Dead Lord are more Thin Lizzy than foreboding Metal.

'Heads Held High' is the band's second album, following on from 2013's 'Goodbye Repentance'. Lead by guitarist/vocalist Hakim Krim, DL play unashamed seventies-influenced Classic Rock, as the repetitive opener 'Farewell' demonstrates. 'Ruins' gallops along like a watered down Iron Maiden, while 'Mindless' very much employs the Lizzy template. The band don't really do ballads, only 'The Bold Move' makes any attempt to slow the pace, and even that kicks off about half way through.

DL made every effort to capture the authentic sound and feel of the 1970s by recording everything together, live - and it has worked. The album has a vintage feel to it and a warm, powerful sound. The only point of contention for some listeners might be Krim's voice. The band classes it as "unique" – I think a better phrase would be "acquired taste".

He doesn't sound like any of the legendary 1970's singers who influenced so many, like Robert Plant, Paul Rodgers or David Coverdale. I personally thought he had a sound similar to John Wheeler (aka Hayseed Dixie's Barley Scotch, but without the twang) and Joey Sinopoli. It didn't bother me as I like both of those guys, but that "more nasally" tone may grate on some.

That possible reservation aside, DL peddles a decent, vintage-influenced sound and proudly wears their Lizzy influences on their sleeves. They aren't going to be giving Black Star Riders any sleepless nights, but they aren't bad either. Any band prepared to write their own songs and record them with an old-school method is worth checking out; Dead Lord do just that.

James Gaden

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