ROSS THE BOSS
Having grown up a huge Ross Friedman fan, I was super stoked to discover that “The Boss” was releasing a solo album in 2018, titled ‘By Blood Sworn’! Ross spent a majority of the 1980s forming the legendary group Manowar… “Born to live forever more, the right conquer every shore”!!… ehem, sorry… Also, I’m finding it incredibly cool that knowing the history of Manowar, having signed their first major record deal in the 80s with THEIR OWN BLOOD, that ‘By Blood Sworn’ has an even deeper meaning than found initially! However, it’s not the 1980s anymore, and we have a brand new album release coming from “The Boss” without the writing and lyrical talents of Eric Adams and Joey DeMaio.
Ross the Boss is Ross on guitars and alongside him are his warriors of the world with Marc Lopez whaling the vocals, Mike LePond on bass and Lance Barnewold banging the bongos! How does this quartet function as a unit in ‘By Blood Sworn’? Let’s find out!
‘By Blood Sworn’, our title track, bursts out with a nice marching guitar riff and Lopez’s loud screams and aggressive lyrics welcoming you to the show! A nice opening track shows off what to expect in your listen. ‘This is Vengeance’ has a nice hard rock opening that treads along with a similar beat and riff. It does grow into a good chorus, not unlike most catchy 90s’ heavy metal tracks heard on the radio in the Midwest US of A! It should be noted that Lopez’s ability to scream is emphasized so well in this track.
‘We are the Night’ is a track I would say that, right off the bat, comes across as with a mission to change the pacing of this album. It has a certain edginess and passion that had been missing up until this point. It has excellent guitar solo work, a marching-orders bassline and killer lyrics. Very nice!
‘Faith of the Fallen’… long ass ballad, has a nice chorus and a classic guitar solo. Totally derails the momentum, but then we are brought back into that hard rock theme with ‘Devil’s Day’. Sounds like a crossover of Sammy Hagar and Jackyl. Nothing too original, but should be an easy track to ‘play on 10’.
Towards the close of the album, we have an interesting mix of methodical rock and easier pop-corn rock tracks that wrap up ‘By Blood Sworn’. ‘Lilith’ has a darker tone overall, with some creative bass; ‘Play Among the Gods’ has an incredibly fun chorus that is more uplifting than the prior track. This segues incredibly well into ‘Circle of Damnation’, which keeps an active pace.
‘Fistful of Hate’ drums us into the last remaining moments and does a good job closing things out. The drumming intro that quickly leaps forward with an up-tempo riff building into a fine chorus series! One of the better listens on the entire album, to be honest.
If you are looking for some above average, universal sounding, classic hard rock with chunks of Manowar flavored metal splurged in, then you damn well best try ‘By Blood Sworn’. Ross The Boss should be considered a safe bet for easy enjoyment while headbanging your day away!
BY BLOOD SWORN
Review by Joshua Jaeger
20th April 2018
1) By Blood Sworn
2) Among the Bones
3) This is Vengeance
4) We are the Night
5) Faith of the Fallen
6) Devil's Day
8) Play Among thr Gods
9) Circle of Damnation
10) Fistful of Hate
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"If you are looking for some above average, universal sounding, classic hard rock with chunks of Manowar flavored metal splurged in, then you damn well best try ‘By Blood Sworn’."