At this point I’m pretty sure ROSS THE BOSS needs no introduction. But for you uneducated few, here it is: He’s played on essential albums from MANOWAR, DEATH DEALER, THE DICTATORS, and his solo stuff, duh! And speaking of, he’s back with an album of all new material By Blood Sworn (out now, AFM Records). Joined by Marc Lopes (vocals, keyboards), the incomparable Mike LePond (bass…does this guy ever stop???), and Lance Barnewold (drums), he’s put together a record that any and all Heavy Metal purists will love. Right from the start, the title track plants the flag with an ominous death march that will immediately get your attention.
“Among the Bones” has a great tempo and cool riffage going on, plus that hook is easily one of the album’s most rib-sticking. But the real gem of this disc happens with “This Is Vengeance.” ERMAHGERD, this song kicks all kinds of fucking ass!! Riffs upon riffs, Lopes wailing his ass off, and just an all-around killer metal tune, this one was made for playlists everywhere. “Faith of the Fallen” is a change of pace and a very good ballad, which I really enjoyed. Oh, and let’s talk about the epic “Lilith” which clocks in at 7:23. This is like your NY Italian Grandma’s spaghetti sauce, simmering and simmering to perfection, and when you finally get it on your plate, with the meat-a balls, mmmmm. I grew up on Long Island, I can say things like that. You can’t.
“Play Among the Godz” is another winner, Ross’ guitar meshing wonderfully with Lopes’ soaring vocals, and “Mother of Horrors” has this supercool DIO-era BLACK SABBATH vibe to it. There’s a thumping quality to “We Are the Night”, and then Closer “Fistful of Hate” caps off the record perfectly. It’s loud, fast, and in-your-face. Pretty much an all-out rockfest designed to get fists in the air. Overall, this is a great fucking album. ROSS THE BOSS mines the familiar territory we all know and love while managing to keep things fresh. If you love metal like I think you do, then go get your copy of By Blood Sworn today!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “This Is Vengeance”, “Among the Bones”, “Lilith”, “Play Among the Godz”