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Ross The Boss: New Metal Leader

A co-founder of the metal legends Manowar, Ross Friedman has been one of the most influential guitarists in the genre. The six albums he did with the band are considered by many to be some of the most dynamic ever in the field of heavy metal.

After leaving the band, Ross played in many different bands and projects till in 2006, Tarek "MS" Maghary from Majesty came up with the idea of matching Ross with the Manowar cover band "Men of War" to play at a festival he was promoting. This lead to a tour in Europe, but Ross never wanted to be a tribute to his prior self so he took the band and wrote some new original material and the result is New Metal Leader.

Ross doesn't deny his past on this album, instead he embraces it whole heartedly with music that could very well be written for his former band. Cuts like "Blood Of Knives", "I Got The Right" and "Matador" have the bombastic quality that you would expect from the guy who brought you such classics as "Battle Hymns' and "Hail To England". While they may remind you of his former band, these songs are something new and exciting thanks to the vocal abilities of Patrick Fuchs. He could never be in a Manowar cover band without a great range and on this disc he uses his dynamic voice to the max. All you have to do is listen to the fantastic song "God Of Dying" to see just how much of a range he has. While the song features a slow acoustic intro where he gives a powerful dramatic singing performance, when Ross unleashes his metal fury midway through the song, Patrick's voice is there to fully complement this explosion.

This album is a very good example of what makes heavy metal the art form it is. Ross never lets you forget that it's the six string assault weapon that fuels this type of music. New Metal Leader is filled with some of his best work. It also features him and the band doing something totally off the cuff. For one brief song they venture into the world of power pop music with the lighthearted "May The Gods Be With You". Even on this radio friendly tune, Ross cannot resist throwing in one terrific guitar solo. You can't take the metal out of a metalhead!

To make it short and simple, this is one very good rock and roll album. It is by no means a classic but definitely worth a listen. I am sure it will make repeated trips to your CD player.

Track listing:

1. I.L.H.
2. Blood Of Knives
3. I Got The Right
4. Death & Glory
5. Plague Of Lies
6. God Of Dying
7. May The Gods Be With You
8. Constantine's Sword
9. We Will Kill
10. Matador
11. Immortal Son

Added: November 28th 2009
Reviewer: Scott Ward
Related Link: Band's Website
Hits: 2759
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Ross The Boss: New Metal Leader
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-11-28 07:55:59
My Score:

You know his name very well from being one of the founding members of the group that told the Metal legions to "Hail and Kill" and with six albums with them under his belt Ross The Boss has finally returned to his public with a new band, new music and an album that recalls the glory days of Power Metal's formative years. With such Metal classics as Manowar's first six releases and their still being active in the game today you might be asking yourself if you can count on the RTB material to follow the standard that they have been setting and I can safely inform you that he is not, and thank the Metal powers that be that this is the case. Personally I have felt that the only thing that Manowar has been killing for the past few years and albums is my overall interest in them for rather than continuing to rally the troops on Metal's behalf, they have become a joke of their own design. Of course I am not alone in this opinion but I am also only on the judgmental side as well for there are those fans who would walk blindly into the fire with the band even though this is no longer my viewpoint. Ross' new band was formed from the seeds of a Manowar Tribute act that he enjoyed performing with and realized that the potential for future greatness lay within. His prowess at the lead guitar and song writing of this kind compiled with capable musicians makes "New Metal Leader" a truly fantastic listen. I mentioned that he did not follow the exact path that his former band did, but yet with this being so, there is a regal majesty to many of the songs found on the release and a number of its topics deal with the whole sword and sorcery/high adventure theme. The upside to every tune is that nothing at all sounds dated or tired. This is an exciting album that leads you into new paths of adventure from the opening flourish of "I.L.H.". "Blood Of Knives" thunders with power while "I Got The Right" might be one of those tunes that the audience sings along with the band to and it continues on in righteous fashion. "Matador" is rather epic on its own and another clear winner comes at us via "Death And Glory" and "Plague Of Lies". Good stuff that had me head banging after only a few minutes of listening.

Patrick Fuchs is the bands singer and while possessing a powerful register does not seem to mimic the likes of Eric Adams. This is a good thing for RTB solo material since the tune can work around his tone but how it will work on many of the more difficult Manowar tracks is beyond me. I loved how he sang the albums signature track "May The Gods Be With You" and "God Of Dying". These two are among my favorites and each one finds Ross himself delivering some solid guitar work. Clearly he was one of the main reasons that Manowar was so successful at how they did things back in the day. The rhythm section finds Carsten Kettering and Martze Mayer on bass and drums respectively and the pair really does justice to the recording and are in the pocket across the board. While I hate to label this as an Old School type of release, it is a thankful cry back to the Traditional Metal way and I love this vibe since it was what drew me into the genre so many years ago and probably did the same for you if we are in the same age bracket. For the younger and newer fans of the format, this is what is referred to as the time honored stuff or a band that is reflecting with positivity on what gave the sound its biggest boost. The tunes on the album are well structured and remain that way and with the tempos that speed up and slow down on a number of occasions there is not really anything that will bore you. After listening to the full release I had to say that this is an album that I hope the guys in Manowar will listen to and be reminded of what works again for the genre as opposed to giving us a boring tune in sixteen different languages. RTB and company have proven that this can be done and that the armaments for battle need to be sharpened for Metal's behalf once more. Congratulations Ross on a killer debut with your new band, I really look forward to seeing what comes of this project and hope it gives the fans a lot of powerful Metal for years to come.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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