|House of Lords, Saint of The Lost Souls|
|Genre:||AOR, Hair Metal|
|Production & Engineering:||4.0
Wow. Let’s start this review of House of Lord’s tenth studio album with the album closer, “The Other Option,” because if this song doesn’t have you flailing away in crazy spasms of rocking delight, you clearly have no appreciation for catchy AOR rock and may as well stop reading further.
I’m trying to write this review, but my head keeps bouncing up and down… better stop listening to this record for a bit. Whew! So here we find Saint of The Lost Souls, and it might be one of the best records in the vast House of Lords catalog. James Christian’s commanding vocals are equaled by guitarist Jimi Bell’s killer melodic shredding. But you can’t single Bell out any more than the exceptional keyboard work which also happens to be performed by vocalist, Christian. He played keys throughout, other than on the rocking album opener, “Harlequin,” which features keyboardist Michele Luppi from Whitesnake.
Chris Tristram and BJ Zampa provide a tasteful, solid rhythm section delivery, and we love how this band runs the gamut from catchy arena rock to subtle tinges of progressive showmanship. Part of what sets House of Lords apart from so many other AOR groups is their obvious musicianship skills that put them in league with prog rock masters, but also the way that they can take catchy hooks and major key passages and keep them sounding interesting in a rock world dominated by dropped tunings and minor-key angst. Yes, they have some great, dark, goth-tinged metal moments as well, but the overall vibe leans mostly in the AOR direction.
With high production values accompanying the high-caliber songwriting and performance, it’s hard to pick specific favorites in between the opening and closing bookends of “Harlequin” and “The Other Option,” but “Reign of Fire” just started to play and my body is moving involuntarily again. If I punch my fist in the air but nobody is around to see it, does that mean I didn’t’ really rock out? This will probably come to be regarded as one of the best AOR albums of 2017. Rightfully so.