Lords of Black-fronted by Ronnie Romero who everyone knows is fronting Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow this year, and with Tony Hernando (guitars) and drummer Andy C (both originally from the Spanish band Saratoga) have just issued their second release aptly titled II on Frontiers Records.
The album starts with an intro titled “Malevolently Beautiful” which leads into the first proper track of “Merciless” which is an epic sounding track filled with lots of fast guitars and piercing vocals. I am immediately thinking this is a fast DIO sounding track, at least, that’s as close as I can come to describing the vocal sound. “Only One Life Away” is another fast tempo song with its sound lending to Primal Fear, a great showcase for what this band does so well. “Everything You’re Not” exhibits a great introduction to the song with such soulful vocals and then melds into another great chorus. It’s a slightly slower song than the previous ones but still with lots of great guitar work throughout. And the great songs on Lords of Black II continue with “New World’s Comin'” which has what has to be one of the best vocal performances I have ever heard backed up by this fantastic band. “Cry No More” is such a power metal song packed with lovely, crunchy guitars and more incredible vocals. This is what power metal is about, one listen you will know exactly what I mean. “Tears I Will Be” starts with a lovely piano intro which continues through the song even after the heavy guitars kick in and we hear a different, quieter vocal sound on this number. “Insane” is another DIO sounding track with amazing results, plodding verses which build to fantastic chorus climaxes. “Live By the Lie, Die By the Truth” speeds things up again with this melodic yet heavy piece that doesn’t ease up at all. You can just imagine these guys would be a great band to see live. “Ghost Of You” has a fantastic acoustic start to the song which turns into another epic tune loaded with shredding solo work. There is no rest as we go into the powerful tracks “The Art Of Illusions Part III” The Wasteland” and “Shadows Of War”, both blistering songs to bring this album to a close on high notes.
There are 2 bonus tracks on this Japanese version that I have for review. “Lady Of The Lake” (Rainbow cover) and “Innuendo” (Queen cover) are both brilliantly covered songs and great additions to the original material on Lords of Black‘s II.
The best way for me to describe this album to you is like a cross between DIO and Primal Fear. If you like those bands this is a no fail for you, a fantastic album equalling the Lords of Black‘s brilliant debut album
Mark 8.5 out of 10