Ross The Boss - 'By Blood Sworn'

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Ross The Boss - 'By Blood Sworn'

You love Metal? You'll love this – death to false Metal indeed!

Back when the world was still young, there was once a radio programme called the Friday Rock Show, hosted by the legendary Tommy Vance (R.I.P.) One Friday night in 1982 Tommy played a couple of songs by a new act called Manowar and I was hooked. It's now 2018 and I'm listening to the new album 'By Blood Sworn' from another legend, ex-Manowar/Dictators guitarist Ross 'The Boss' Friedman and wow, this is the best set of songs Manowar haven't recorded in the last ten years. Ross The Boss and his band have written an album that has echoes of Manowar's 'Hail To England' and 'Gloves Of Metal', but with a freshness, hunger and Ross's own wicked musical twists that belie his almost fifty years in the music business. You want verification? Fire up your death deck, place 'By...' in the CD player, turn volume dial to maximum and hit play. Then prepare for an hour of face melting Metal, full of gigantic riffs, solos and killer songs only a master of the Metal genre could come up with.

'By Blood Sworn' is first and when it hits it hits hard, a galloping guitar riff, pounding bass and drums and a vocal snarl combining to rip the plaster and paint from your walls. Then Ross and his compatriots, Marc Lopes on vocals and keys, Mike LePond on bass and Lance Barnewold on drums, continue to show the young whipper-snappers who play Metal today just how it should be done. 'Among The Bones', 'This Is Vengeance' the early Nugent sounding 'Devil's Day' where Ross rips up a guitar storm, the epic 'Lilith' where Mike LePond gives a bass master class, 'Circle Of Damnation' and the heart-stopping guitar attack of 'Play Among The Godz' are all Metal songs played and written as they should be: fast, loud and with confidence and power.

Ross The Boss, at the age of 64, shows no sign of slowing down and on the evidence of this Metal titan, I'm so glad he's not thinking of retiring any time soon. You love Metal? You'll love this – death to false Metal indeed!

Ian Johnson

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