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Sunday, February 9, 2014

CD-Review: House Of Lords - "Precious Metal"

It seems to be one of the most awaited releases in the Melodic Rock scene: the new album "Precious Metal" from House Of Lords. After three years James Christian and Co. finally present their follow-up to their critically acclaimed record "Big Money" from 2011. In the meantime many things happend: James won the fight against cancer, he produced the new record of his wife, the legendary singer Robin Beck and he released a new solo album last year. Seems like there wasn't much time to work on "Precious Metal". What it has to offer?

After a first listen I can say House Of Lords didn't change much on their traditional formula. Again we get to hear pumpin' 80's driven Melodic Hard Rock, which is sligthly heavier this time.
You recognize this immediately when you listen to the opener "Battle" - this is a monster of a song with crunchy guitars, screams and a catchy chorus. It's simply the best House of Lords tune I heared in years and the highlight of this LP. It's one of those tracks which sound quiet fresh in my ears. But here I've to admit there aren't many of them on this record. Like I said before most of the time House Of Lords deliver traditional stuff. Tracks like "I'm Breakin' Free" and "Action" are typical 80's Hard Rocker. On the other side you have the very harmonic Melodic Rock songs like "Turn Back The Tide" and "Epic". But also here you feel a heavier approach.
Another thing that underlines this fact is that you won't find many ballads on "Precious Metal". The title track is the only pure ballad and in fact a really good one. It features a nice melody and is a good alternation to the rest of the songs.

Since I'm a fan of great Arena Rock I've to point out "You Might Just Save My Life Tonight" and "Live Every Day (Like It's The Last)". I'd love to see House Of Lords perform these two tracks on their forthcoming tour.

Although most parts of this album are very enjoyable you'll also find some fillers on here. "Raw" is one of the songs that just passed me by as well as "Enemy Mine" with Robin Beck. They are simply not so hook loaden like the ones I mentioned above.
I already said it in my review to James Christians solo album: I'm a huge fan of the House Of Lords record "World Upside Down" from 2005 and all in all I've to admit that "Precious Metal" also can't reach the quality of this album. The good thing is: I would rate it right behind that one.

Soundwise "Precious Metal" features a solid production by James Christian himself. The rhythm section is tight and also Jimi Bell on guitars ensures that this album comes along with a real kick-ass-sound. His hard riffing and fast guitar play fits perfectly to James' soaring vocals. Yeah, James Christian screams his heart out on many songs and his raspy, unique voice gives each song the unmistakable House Of Lords stamp.

To make it short: with "Precious Metal" House Of Lords combine all their strenghts without many surprises. This LP is better than "Big Money" and James' latest solo effort to my ears, but the quality of songwriting is still behind "Wolrd Upside Down". This is due to some little fillers and predictable melodies here and there. But this shouldn't deter you to make this album part of your Hard Rock collection. A song like "Battle" justifies the purchase in any case. House Of Lords fans can grab this one blindly.



01. Battle *
02. I'm Breakin' Free
03. Epic *
04. Live Every Day (Like It's The Last) *
05. Permission To Die
06.  Precious Metal *
07. Swimmin' With The Sharks
08. Raw
09. Enemy Mine
10. Action
11. Turn Back The Tide
12. You Might Just Save My Life *

* best tracks

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