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House Of Lords: Precious Metal

Boy is James Christian on top form or what? As if last year's superb solo outing Lay It All On Me wasn't impressive enough, he and his HOL band mates have served up this band's best album since the heady days of Gregg Giuffria and Ken Mary! Not that what's happened in between times has been anywhere near shoddy you understand, however the comparison is more relevant for new album Precious Metal than really at any point since 1992's Demons Down, with this new effort transporting HOL right back to their legendary Pomp Metal sound and approach.

Christian is a fabulous singer and of that there's no doubt, so take it as read that he is as majestic as ever here and once more begs the question, why isn't he a mega famous household name? If there's a singer out there, right now, in any genre with a richer, fuller more expressive tone, then they must be something pretty spectacular. However with Precious Metal, House Of Lords have once more hit the jackpot and created a collection of songs that any serious follower of Melodic Rock with a tougher edge and pompous, overblown keys, simply must have.

Right from the off "Battle" takes up the fight, with a trademark OTT HOL intro setting the scene for a song that'll make for a killer set opener when this band play live. Massive drums from BJ Zampa hammer out a killer groove while the bass work of Chris McCarvill and scintillating guitar contribution from Jimi Bell combine to gallop and romp through a keyboard motif that raises the spirits and punches the air for joy. The standard set, the rest of Precious Metal happily maintains that early momentum, "I'm Breakin' Free" anthemic and pulsating, "Epic", being, well, you guessed it, epic (and catchy as hell), "Live Every Day" a slow, evocative ode to making the most of each hour we have.

What a start, but this album ain't done, with each of the twelve tracks worth raving about as they capture the imagination, "Swimming With Sharks" surging and pushing, "Action" laying down a groove of real depth. The title track slows everything right down beautifully, adding colour to an admittedly strident and forceful album, while "Enemy Mine" brings a kind of latter day Winger flavour through sharp synth sounds and a modern beat, while the co-vocal from Christian's wife Robin Beck compliments his voice beautifully. Both songs ensuring that variety and quality are right at the top of the House Of Lords agenda.

If their previous two albums Cartesian Dreams and Big Money were a true return to form (and they were), then Precious Metal is a band right at the top of their game. Even from someone who classes the first three albums from House Of Lords amongst the best Melodic/Pomp Rock has ever produced, I have to admit that this album rivals them all.

Track Listing
1. Battle
2. I'm Breakin' Free
3. Epic
4. Live Every Day
5. Permission To Die
6. Precious Metal
7. Swimmin' With The Sharks
8. Raw
9. Enemy Mine
10. Action
11. Turn Back The Tide
12. You Might Just Save My Life

Added: February 21st 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: James Christian Online
Hits: 2608
Language: english

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