LORDS OF BLACK – II
The Spanish power metal band Lords of Black featuring vocalist Ronnie Romero (Rainbow) is back with a brand new onslaught consisting of twelve bombastic and melodic heavy metal hymns that bring to mind bands such as Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath (the Dio and Tony Martin albums), DIO, Domine, and, perhaps not surprisingly, Rainbow. "II" contains some memorable, well-crafted, and epic tunes, namely "Tears I Will Be", "Ghost of You", and "Shadows of War", but, unfortunately, it does leave something to be desired.
Mr. Romero can definitely sing and seems to be able to hit every conceivable note known to man on this album, but what "II" lacks in the overall perspective is feel and emotion. Sure, there are many well-written and cleverly arranged parts and so on, but the drums sound somewhat stiff and mechanical, and the atmosphere just seems to lack a bit of depth and substance. One can tell that these guys are technically adept musicians, and the melodic Blackmore-esque solos are cool, but, again, the songs come out sounding neither particularly soulful nor emotional. Having said that, cuts such as the aforementioned "Ghost of You", which gives me that same vibe as the "Magica" record by DIO does, and "Tears I Will Be" are definitely worth checking out, and the album does have its merits, but do not expect a heavy metal masterpiece. It is simply too uneven and uneventful for that.