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Dead Lord - Heads Held High

Label: Century Media
Format: CD Download
Released: 2015
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 8/ 10


What's going on in Sweden? Despite the occult moniker and skull in outstretched arms artwork, Century Media's newest possesses a vintage, 70s hard rock sound, similar to countrymen The Dagger and Black Trip (to say nothing of the ongoing conclave of retro-metallers). Surely this was a signing from the European side of the label, as there's little in the way of aggro, shouted sensationalism that marks most of their North American acts. The vocals have a hint of Paul Stanley, the melodies a bit of Thin Lizzy, together an intoxicating mixture, but probably only palatable to those of a certain age. How many bands are shown playing the board game Risk, in their video (for 'When History Repeats Itself')?

 

Then again, the first song is called 'Farewell'. 'Mindless' jumps from the speakers, wah wah pedal well oiled and moving like an unoccupied swing in a hurricane. A couple of loose notes, then sustain into , to begin 'Strained Fools'. 'Bold Move', probably named for its slow, sorrowful, bluesy start, but rest assured, it sparks some fiery guitar, in the latter half. As if to answer the critics, 'Don't Give A Damn' follows, a return to pace, proudly claiming: "Give up, will you. I will never lend a hand, 'cause I don't give a damn!" There's even snippets of cowbell and piano in the staccato riffing 'With Heads Held High' finale. Good stuff!

 
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