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Set in Stone
Released: 2009, Dominus in conjunction with Riot! Entertainment.
Lord's new album SET IN STONE takes the band to the next level in terms of song writing and guitar acrobatics. The band formed in 2003, first as a solo band, but evolved into a full time band arising from the ashes of Dungeon - one of Australia's more known power metal band's. With Lord's second album, Germanic power metal mixes seamlessly with 80's melodic pop-metal. The only metal style that kind of throws you off is when they go into some kind of Children of Bodom tinged thrash which although done well, is held back by the bad CoB-ish vocals. When you have a lead vocalist as gifted as Lord Tim, throwing in sounds of someone vomiting into the microphone is just an insult to their talent. The thrashy riffing and drumming should however be kept in their bag of tricks, but dropping the fake angry vocals gotta go. That said, the moments where these vocals emerge are thankfully kept at a minimum.
Songs like "Redemption" and “Eternal Storm” show the Helloween influence that is clear and present in the band. However it is mainly the band’s 80's melodic metal songs which dominate the album with songs like "Set in Stone" (with it's sappy sounding vocal melody intro), "100 Reasons", "On A Night Like This" (keys at a dated but awesome atmosphere making it sound like some forgotten 80's gem but is actually a cover of a song by Kylie Minogue), and “Beyond the Light”. Surprisingly they don’t really drift into an Edguy sound as you might expect since Edguy is the main band that is well known for their cookie cutter power metal to killer-kock-rock transition (i.e. "Lavatory Love Machine", "Rocket Ride", etc.). The heavier side of Lord emerges in the songs "End of Days" and “Someone Else’s Dream” (except for the intro and chorus). Guitar freaks will be drooling all over the shredding on this album, especially with the instrumental song "Be My Guest" and the intro to “Eternal Storm” is stellar reminiscent of the shredding at the beginning of Into Eternity’s glorious “Splintered Visions”.
Also of note is the impressive list of guest appearances on SET IN STONE which includes Craig Goldy of Dio, Glen Drover of Eidolon, Pete Lesperance of Harem Scarem, Angra's Felipe Andreoli, Vanishing Point's Chris Porcianko, Justin Sayers from Platinum Brunette, Chris Brooks, and Stu Marshall of Paindivision and pop singer Tania Moran tracked backing vocals for a number of songs. The instrumental shred-fest “Be My Gues” is where many of these performances are captured with guest solos from Craig Goldy of Dio, Glen Drover from Eidolon, Olof Mörck of Dragonland, Yoshiyasu Maruyama of Japanese thrash band Argument Soul, Angra's Felipe Andreoli, former Enter Twilight member Richie Hausberger, Chris Porcianko from Vanishing Point, Chris Brooks and former Dungeon members Stu Marshall and Justin Sayers. The song was co-written by ex-Dungeon bassist Brendon McDonald.
Lord (despite having a terrible band name which makes me think they are some kind of Xtain metal) are easily the best current metal band coming out of Australia. If you are a fan of bands like Helloween, Dokken, Edguy, Queensryche, and some other technical prog-ish metal, then you will love what Lord are doing. Hopefully SET IN STONE gets proper release and promotion outside of Australia as it seems they’ve toured and done rather well for themselves at home. It’s time for them to be properly revealed to audiences in Europe and North America!
Celtic Bob's 2 cents
SET IN STONE has something to live up to as ASCENDANCE was an excellent album. This follow-up is filled with mostly power metal songs and some melodic hard rock. What really stands out are the couple of ballads towards the end of the disc, especially the Queensryche-esque “New Horizons”. This is an amazing song that sets itself apart from the rest of the album. While this track is not an indication of what the rest of the album is like it does however demonstrate that Lord are not just a Power Metal band or a Melodic Hard Rock group. They are slightly diverse but consistently good. The only downfall is the overkill of double kick drum that wears thin very quickly.
1. Spectres of the Ascendent" – 0:48 (Grose)
2. "Redemption" – 5:31 (Grose/Yatras)
3. "100 Reasons" – 4:44 (Grose/Yatras)
4. "Eternal Storm" – 5:31 (Furtner/Grose/Yatras)
5. "Set in Stone" – 5:13 (Grose/Yatras)
6. "Someone Else's Dream" – 5:50 (Grose/Yatras/Furtner/Dowling)
7. "Forever" – 7:59 (Grose/Yatras/Dowling)
8. "Beyond the Light" – 3:38 (Grose/Yatras/Furtner/Dowling)
9. "The End of Days" – 8:22 (Grose/Yatras)
10. "Be My Guest" – 7:52 (Grose/Yatras/McDonald)
11. "New Horizons" - 6:51 (Grose/Yatras)
12. "On a Night Like This" - 3:33 (Torch/Stack/Taylor/Rawling) (bonus track)
Lord Tim – vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass guitar
Tim Yatras – drums, keyboards, backing vocals
Andrew Dowling – bass guitar, backing vocals
Mark Furtner - guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
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