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House of Lords: World Upside Down

In a moment of startling honesty, House of Lords frontman James Christian told Britain's Classic Rock magazine late last year that he "lost sight of what the band was about" on 2004's uncharacteristic modern-sounding reunion album The Power & The Myth. Well, he found whatever he lost for World Upside Down, a solid hard-rock record that picks up where 1992's Demons Down left off.

House of Lords has been graced with several different members and guests since its self-titled debut in 1989 on Gene Simmons' vanity label, Simmons Records - including founding keyboardist Gregg Guiffria (Angel), drummer Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake, Ozzy), bassist Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot), and guitarists Lanny Cordola (Tamplin), Doug Aldrich (Hurricane, Whitesnake) and Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick). This time, unknown players join Christian, but guitarist Jimi Bell sounds nearly as good as his predecessors. And although they're not credited on the promo copy I received, Christian's wife Robin Beck and former Strangeways vocalist Terry Brock reportedly contribute huge backing vocals.

"Huge" is the overriding theme of World Upside Down, which is packed with dense guitars, dramatic keyboards and arena attitudes. Christian sings every song from his gut, just as he did back in the day, and he injects songs like the majestic ballad "Million Miles" and the mid-tempo rocker "Your Eyes" with uninhibited passion. But the album's highlight comes early on, with "Field of Shattered Dreams," a war-hero epic that rivals a softer Iced Earth and a more socially conscious Def Leppard. The Def Leppard comparisons continue on "My Generation" and "SOS."

All told, World Upside Down is a welcome return to form for House of Lords and an all-American slab of melodic hard rock played loudly and proudly.

Track Listing:
1) Mask of Eternity
2) These Are the Times
3) All the Way to Heven
4) Field of Shattered Dreams
5) I'm Free
6) All the Pieces Falling
7) Rock Bottom
8) Million Miles
9) Your Eyes
10) Ghost of Time
11) My Generation
12) SOS
13) World Upside Down

Added: May 12th 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 2636
Language: english

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