Published on June 9th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Ross the Boss: By Blood Sworn (AFM)
Former Manowar guitarist Ross the Boss has a new solo album out for the first time in eight years. It’s called By Blood Sworn and finds the guitarist teamed with a whole new band, including bassist Mike LePond (Symphony X) and vocalist Marc Lopes (ex-Meliah Rage).
Given all the classic Manowar sets the Ross the Boss band has been performing in recent years, it will come as no surprise that By Blood Sworn sounds a lot like a Manowar album. It’s all simple, straightforward, “hit you right between the eyes” heavy metal with heavy as hell riffs, even heavier rhythms (LePond really stands out here), powerful, if somewhat abrasive, vocals, and clichéd (in a good way) lyrics. You don’t pick up a Ross the Boss album for beautiful poetry. You pick it up so you can raise your fist and scream along to songs like “By Blood Sworn,” “This is Vengeance” and “Devil’s Day.”
By Blood Sworn is a perfectly solid album, but it’s not as well-executed as New Metal Leader, and lacks that album’s staying power. It’s fun when it’s playing, but is easy to forget when it isn’t. Still, if you’re a fan of Ross the Boss’s earlier work, both solo and with Manowar, it’s worth checking out. Fans of traditional metal in general and bands like Judas Priest and Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins in particular ought to get a kick out of this one.
Summary: Hail and kill, rinse and repeat