HOUSE OF LORDS - Saint Of The Lost Souls
March 30, 2017, a year ago
Lone original member, singer James Christian, from the Lords ‘80s/‘90s lineup and the self-titled debut in 1988 (Sahara, Demons Down in 1990/1992), reassembled the name in 2006 for the album World Upside Down. Since then, with long time guitarist/co-writer Jimi Bell on guitar and B.J. Zampa on drums, Christian has made sure the Lords retained all the qualities that made the music so melodic and memorable from those first three albums. Now, in the new millennium the only difference, and welcomed additive to the formula has been Jimi’s blazing metal edged guitar riffs and leads. See previous albums Cartesian Dreams (2009), Big Money, Precious Metal, and Indestructible from 2015 to hear Bell’s influence and how well the music is balanced between AOR, prog, and metal edged rockers.
“Harlequin” couldn’t be more rooted in the band’s first two records with that epic/touch of prog ivory keyboard (by Michele Luppi from Whitesnake & Secret Sphere) opening, and it effortlessly morphs into the guitar crunch of the verses and catchy chorus. Guitars and backing keyboards are less up in the mix for the verses in “Oceans Divide” as the flow to the chorus is like that of serene moving water. “Hit The Wall” follows, is passive with a very AOR chorus, acoustic guitar and harmonizing vocals are baseline to ballad “The Sun Will Never Set Again”. Both very much in the vein of the debut. Sandwiched in between is the edgier title track. “New Day Breakin’” is straight ahead foot tapping rocker ready for radio, but then again, more than half these songs are.
Moving along to the second half of the album…drums and guitars build to the verse in “Reign Of Fire”, as more guitar is mixed into “Concussion” and the heavy “Grains Of Sand” with more bass in the bottom end. “The Other Option” ends the album still rockin’ with a Purple/Rainbow-ish keyboard sound. It’s rather consistent across eleven songs, maybe two or three are not as good as the rest. Personal favs are “Harlequin”, “Oceans Divide”, “The Sun Will Never Set Again”, “Saint Of The Lost Souls”, “New Day Breakin’”, “Reign Of Fire”, and “Grains Of Sand”.