Ross The Boss

New Metal Leader

Written by: EW on 25/08/2008 01:45:43

There is a certain time and a place that would be most beneficial for listening to particular bands and albums and the same could be said for reviewing them. The feel of Heavy Metal Pride™ contained within "New Metal Leader" is so exuberant and damn glorious that really I am doing it a disservice sat at home on a Sunday night reviewing it; of course I should be sat in a field in a town called Wacken blasting it to all passers-by and judging its mark on the number of comments and devil horns flashed by passers-by. "New Metal Leader" is a summer metal album - it is happy, it is proud and it makes the metal in every metalhead want to stand up and be acknowledged for what it is. Oh, and have I also mentioned this is the solo band of ex-Manowar axe-wielder Ross "The Boss" Friedman, hence extra reason for wishing to blast it in the Metal Holy Land.

Quite what ol' Rossy has been doing since he left those gaylords in Manowar (before you write in to complain, I LOVE Manowar, I'm just speaking the truth) in 1988 is anyone's guess but "New Metal Leader" pretty much carries on from where he left following his departure after "Kings of Metal", the album that probably holds no.1 spot as my favourite Metal album, ever. Here we have the big choruses, the metal-soaked riffs that only certified Kings of Metal hold the appropriate licenses to play, and of course songs about strength, glory and killing (poseurs....probably). As much as the obvious Manowar feel is that of their Swedish equivalents Hammerfall, most notably in the vocal department where Patrick Fuchs puts in a commanding performance despite at times sounding like he has his balls in the proverbial clamp. "Plague Of Lies" delivers on solos so metal your identikit metalcore band will have to revise what it was they thought they were getting themselves into when they discovered metal 3 weeks ago. "God Of Dying" has nailed the "The Crown And The Ring" ("Kings Of Metal") epic-synth to a tee, so much so that it could be a carbon copy, but frankly I don't care 'cos that song is the best of the bunch here. "May The Gods Be With You" is camp-cheese extraordinaire not much beyond Bon Jovi in every department, so a future German classic it most certainly is. "Constantine's Sword" begins with THE same riff as a Marilyn Manson song, "The Beautiful People" I believe, surely something the self-appointed Kings of Metal would not approve of, but then they did cover an Elvis tune not so long ago, so tough luck guys. "Blood Of Knives" quite simply makes me want to hear it in the settings of the metal club/karaoke at Wacken, surrounded by metal, beer and more metal. Explaining its individual positives is pointless as Ross The Boss have intended this as the opener proper and therefore every box for a classic heavy/power metal tune is ticked, then bolded, and finally underlined for good measure.

For better or for worse, Manowar have long left this territory of rampaging glorious denunciation to metal, leaving a gap that Hammerfall have exploited and Ross The Boss are now aiming to get a piece of. I'm not usually one for being kind to heavy/power metal but I simply cannot dislike "New Metal Leader", something so heavy in it's Manowar-isms, for every metalhead needs some cheese in their diet. Perhaps the album Manowar should've released instead of the overweight pompous "Gods Of War", Ross The Boss have delivered an album that could in time see them rise to the level of new metal leaders, at least in Germany. Listen, drink, enjoy.


Download: Plague Of Lies, Blood Of Knives, God Of Dying
For The Fans Of: Manowar, Hammerfall, 3 Inches Of Blood
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.08.08
AFM Records

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