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Ross the Boss – By Blood Sworn Review

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Metal

Released: 20 April 2018


Ross “The Boss” Friedman guitar
Marc Lopes on vocals and keys
Mike LePond on bass
Lance Barnewold on drums for the sessions
Steve Bolognese will beat the skins on the album’s tour

Track Listing:

1 By Blood Sworn
2 Among the Bones
3 This Is Vengeance
4 We Are the Night
5 Faith of the Fallen
6 Devil’s Day
7 Lilith
8 Play Among the Godz
9 Circle of Damnation
10 Fistful of Hate
11 The Oath
12 Each Dawn I Die
13 Hail and Kill

Ross the Boss has already laid out a pretty legendary career. From his time with The Dictators to Manowar to Dick Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom to his most recent group DeathDealer, Ross has recorded some pretty significant music that remains integral to both the metal and punk worlds. Having influenced so many with his work, specifically The Dictators and Manowar, it’s no wonder that he continues to challenge himself, recording music that is still as fresh as ever. Coming off a two album run with DeathDealer, “The Boss” is releasing his third solo album, and first with new singer Marc Lopez, proving once and for all he is one of the best in the metal world for writing great songs.

By Blood Sworn is the perfect mix of everything great Ross the Boss has done in his career. Song’s like “Devil’s Day” and “Mother of Horrors” taps into his early works with The Dictators with that mix of melodic structure with a punk-ish delivery, a full metal assault with “This Is Vengeance” and “Fistful of Hate” that demonstrates a bit of what he’s been doing with DeathDealer, and of course stuff like “By Blood Sworn” and “We Are the Night” that are heavy and grand like anything from his years with Manowar. You would think covering so much ground the album would be disjointed, but in fact the album flows perfectly.

This is a pretty killer album. Does it necessarily rival anything he’s recorded before? I’ll leave that up to you. I will say it’s a damn fine collection of excellent songs from a guitarist and songwriter who has penned some epic music in his long career, and continues to do so today. I will say I think this his best solo album yet. By Blood Sworn encapsulates a career of one of the greats of the Metal world. Even though he’s doing a Manowar set, I’m looking forward to seeing him live for the first time at ProgPower later this year. I’d be pleased to hear material from this album too, though.

SCORE 8 / 10

Reviewed by Chris Martin


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