House Of Lords
As melodic hard rock goes, James Christian has not only kept the band House Of Lords alive, but he's kept it relevant and smart throughout their career. While he was not the original voice of the band, he's been "the guy" on every release and has proven always seems to have some good ideas to keep the band driving creatively forward. Ultimately, over the course of their 9 studio releases, there's only been one that was a total dude (THE POWER AND THE MYTH). In fairness, that one could even be attributed to ring rust after 12 years away from the project. While unflashy, the last four releases have been very solid from start to finish. Returning with PRECIOUS METAL, Christian and his House Of Lords once again hit the consistency mark. They also rock just a little bit harder than you might expect for this release.
To be sure, PRECIOUS METAL is a heavy release as House Of Lords releases go. Listening to songs like "Epic" or "Battle", you can feel a new energy flowing through the band. Guitarist Jimi Bell brings a new bit of speed to his always solid riffs. His soloing on "Epic" is particularly strong; a big, arena rock styled solo that is all but missing in so much hard rock and metal these days. He plays nicely with the rhythm section of Chris McCarvill on bass and BJ Zampa on drums. Their sound is fleshed out, as it is on all House Of Lords' music, with keyboards - this time provided by Jeff Kent. As a unit, they are tight and sound flawless.
For Christian's part, he's a solid singer with a sound that is identifiable without sounding trending or old. He's a powerful vocalist, and his voice singlehandedly makes songs like "Live Every Day (Like It's The Last)" stand out. As is always the case with House Of Lords, the harmonized choruses between Christian and the band are always appealing. That has not changed here. The band put it all together throughout, producing some rocking cuts like the energetic and guitar heavy tune "Raw". From start to finish, PRECIOUS METAL is a damn solid effort from House Of Lords.
PITRIFF RATING - 80/100 - There's not a ton to say here that hasn't been said on most of their other releases. House Of Lords is a very solid, very consistent band. PRECIOUS METAL fits perfectly with what these guys have been doing for years. It's a touch heavier than other efforts in their past, but it's pretty much standard faire for the James Christian-led band. If you are a fan of melodic classic rock and metal, you really can't go wrong with this one.