Published on June 25th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Lords of Black: Icons of the New Days (Frontiers)
Spanish heavy/power metal band Lords of Black has a new album out. Icons of the New Days is the third release from a band that has rocketed from obscurity to rising stars in the power metal scene. Part of that success comes from vocalist Ronnie Romero’s involvement in recent Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow performances, but part of that is just how good the band’s albums have been.
The band gets an assist from Masterplan’s Roland Grapow, who co-produced the album with guitarist Tony Hernando as well as mixing and mastering it. He’s a good choice for those duties, given how close Lords of Black’s style is to the melodic power metal that Masterplan does so well.
Icons of the New Days is cut from the same cloth as the previous Lords of Black album (2016’s very impressive II) and has a similar impact. It’s a satisfyingly heavy album that’s melodic without getting all Freedom Call sing-songy. Romero’s powerful/raspy vocals channel both Dio and Jorn once again, and pair really well with the heavy rhythms and melodies.
While the album largely consists of the kind of 5-minute powerhouse tracks you’d expect, there are also some longer, more dramatic songs like “King’s Reborn” and “All I Have Left” that veer into Axel Rudi Pell territory. They’re both highlights of the album, though shorter, heavier numbers like “Long Way to Go” and the title track are no less satisfying.
Lords of Black have delivered another very strong album in Icons of the New Days. It’s the kind of album that fans of Masterplan, Magnus Karlsson’s Freefall (and especially his Ferrymen project with Romero), Jorn and Axel Rudi Pell ought to really enjoy. If you like your power metal heavy and with an old school metal vibe, Lords of Black is a band you need to know.
Edition Notes: The limited edition physical version of Icons of the New Days comes in a digipack and includes a second disc titled Lords of Black Uncovered and the Lost Tracks. The bonus disc includes four cover songs – Queen’s “Innuendo,” Anthrax’s “Only,” “Bruce Dickinson’s “Tears of the Dragon” and Journey’s “Edge of the Blade” – as well as two studio tracks from the II sessions that didn’t make the album. If you’ve had the privilege of seeing Lords of Black live, you know how good their cover versions are, and the ones collected here (a couple were previously released, a couple are new) are really nicely done and well worth the price of the set.
Summary: Power metal icons for the new days