ROSS THE BOSS - NEW METAL LEADER - CANDLELIGHT
Apparently an ex-Manowar guitarist equals ex-Manowar music. Former Manowar guitarist Ross The Boss is back with his own band possibly finding a renewed interest in metal after appearing with his former band on stage, as documented on The Day The Earth Shook - The Absolute Power DVD. Just in time too; Manowar has abandoned any pretension to composing songs or music and laden its recent output to pomposity that is boring to the nth degree. Ross, on the other hand, resurrects the olden feel of Manowar with song after metal song that is reminiscent of the New Yorkers’ '80s glory.
A short intro later the ironically titled New Metal Leader begins with Blood Of Knives. It is immediately obvious that fans of Manowar’s music will love this disc. Death & Glory is a raging headbanger. I Got The Right, not unsurprisingly, is anthemic. God Of Dying begins slowly and is sharply reminiscent of older material like Battle Hymn or Defender. May The Gods Be With You sounds like an older poppy heavy metal ditty. The lighter song is followed soon by the album’s weakest moment, Matador. With cheesy lyrics branding a man who is torturing and insulting an innocent animal as “legendary” the song turns out to be a disappointment amidst a number of unexpectedly good and listenable tracks. The album also features two songs from Ross’ other band, Brain Surgeons. Plague Of Lies and Constantine’s Sword fit the rest of the material.
The album cover reminds one of Primal Fear with its eagle (the record is mastered by Achim Kohler who has indeed worked with Primal Fear), but the band name and the music point rightly at old Manowar. The material is simple and the metal vintage, but the quality is clear and perhaps even surprising from a man that had otherwise taken a long break from performing or composing. Manowar fans will love this, but more importantly Manowar itself needs to hear this. New Metal Leader could prove inspiring. - Ali “The Metallian”