Published on August 10th, 2016 | by Justin G.1
Lords of Black: II
Spanish heavy metal band Lords of Black returned earlier this year with their second studio album, the appropriately-titled II. The band recently gained a much higher profile when their singer Ronnie Romero was chosen to join Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow.
There are a lot of bands that draw inspiration from the legendary Ronnie James Dio (RIP). Resurrection Kings and Last in Line, which both debuted this year, even boast former Dio bandmates. Lords of Black is the true heir to the Dio sound though. Not only is Romero’s powerful voice eerily similar to Dio’s, the songwriting on II captures the power and the epic majesty of the classic Dio albums.
Lords of Black does go beyond just the Dio comparisons. II is also strongly rooted in the power metal tradition, bringing to mind Tad Morose, Masterplan and Thunderstone. It’s very heavy, but very melodic, and has just the right amount of keyboards. Tony Hernando’s guitar work is extremely impressive, and paired with Romero’s massive vocals makes for a winning combination. Highlights on II include “Merciless,” “Cry No More” and the epic 9-minute “Ghost of You,” but the whole album is quite strong.
II is a very strong release from one of the most promising new bands in the traditional/power metal scene. It’s easy to see why the Frontiers label took such an interest in this band. Lords of Black is a band that has a firm grasp of metal’s history, but is capable of securing metal’s future. If you love the classic Dio albums (Black Sabbath/Rainbow/Dio) and/or hard-hitting power metal like Tad Morose, Brainstorm and Cage, this is a band you need to discover.
Edition Notes: There are a couple of bonus track options, depending on which version of II you buy. The digital version has a cover of Queen’s “Innuendo,” while the physical version has a cover of Rainbow’s “Lady of the Lake.” The Japanese version has both covers plus a piano version of “Insane.”
Summary: This album, more than any other, keeps the spirit of Dio alive.