Album Reviews

House Of Lords – Cartesian Dreams

Released by Frontier Records – 2009

Review Added September 16, 2009

. Produced by James Christian and Mark Baker
· Running Time: 52:03
· Release Date: September 18, 2009
· Musical Style: Melodic Hard Rock
· Links: www.jameschristianmusic.com
Tracklisting
01. Cartesian Dreams **
02. Born To Be Your Baby **
03. Desert Rain
04. Sweet September
05. Bangin’**
06. A Simple Plan
07. Never Never Look Back**
08. The Bigger They Come **
09. Repo Man**
10. Saved By Rock
11. Joanna **
12. The Train
**Hot Tracks

* James Christian: Vocals, Keyboards
* Jimi Bell: Guitars
* BJ Zampa: Drums
* Chris McCarvill: Bass

As we move along this 2009 year in rock, another highly anticipated release in the melodic rock world rolls around and this time James Christian and his band House Of Lords deliver us “Cartesian Dreams” the bands 7th studio album. To provide a little back story on House of Lords not to be mistaken for the “upper house” of Parliament in the United Kingdom, the band debuted in 1989 with the release of their self titled album, which some still consider up to this day to be one of the best Arena Rock releases of the 80’s. Originally they went by the moniker of Giuffria led by master keyboardist Gregg Giuffria until signed by Gene Simmons to his record label and then he got rid of their original singer David Eisley, enter James Christian. Even though some also compared and measured the early House of Lords sucess as more poignant then now, there should be no mistake about the fact that they are one of the leaders in the melodic hard rock realm, and since the highly acclaimed “World Upside Down“and “Come To My Kingdom“, they have been quickly rising through a boost of sucess among the hard rock world.

Now Christian and company deliver another solid but varied set of tracks to keep the momentum swinging in their favor as we roll out another highlight of melo hard rock heaven. Some style aor keyboards set the atmosphere right off the gitgo and James Christian unleashes his fury of melody on the track “Cartesian Dreams” with soaring choruses and sounding a little like Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, instantly makes this track a favorite and standout highlight. The menacing intro to “Born To Be Your Baby” blasts out and with it’s corky lyrics keeps the mood swinging steady and rocking along nicely. With some patriotic undertones “Desert Rain” crashes your blistering ears and chalks along ready with a nice chorus and pretty cool bass line from Chris McCarvill, followed by a tasty solo from Mr Bell. A traditional power ballad precedes in the form of “Sweet September”, nothing really grabs you here other then just solid, just what you would expect from these veteran musicians, carefully crafted and is a nice addition to balance the album as it reaches the midway point. The second half of the record also has some notables standouts like the heavy bottom rocker “Never Look Back” which features that trademark HOL rhythm section sound that’s so contagious, it has a modern feel but stays true to it’s roots. Plowing on some traditional metal grooves, “The Bigger They Come” spits at your soul with a threatening pace, quite possibly the hardest on the record, add some ear shredding solos to spice it up and you have another winner. Joining forces with James is his wife, and very talented and well known singer and rocker Robin Beck, she adds a nice chorus backing to give the track “Repo Man” a nice uplifting pitch. To complete the standout tracks “Joanna” shoots a nice vocal melody with some sleaze attitude written all over it.

Well I must confess it took me a few spins to try to appreciate this one, some tracks are average to me at best but the musicianship is to be expected and quite perfect from the band. I was officially looking forward to September since the new Gotthard is bound to blow up and add the return of Lynch Mob and Danger Danger and House of Lords adds another staple of consistency for all Melodic Hard Rock fans that is surely to live up to their back catalogue quite well. Recommended to all Melodic Rock fans, support the band and keep rocking.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys  8/10


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