Ross The Boss


Written by: EW on 17/01/2011 22:26:53

Not content with resting on the laurels and bumper pay packet that comes with being a key ex-Manowar member Ross 'The Boss' Friedman is back with the second album from his eponymous band just two years after the astonishingly strong New Metal Leader", in the process comfortably beating his old employers in the frequency-of-release stakes but in a style of someone who is still not quite over the fact he is no longer a veritable King of Metal. You see the contents of "Hailstorm" still manage to sound exceedingly alike to the middle-era Manowar albums Friendman was indeed part of ("Fighting The World" and "Kings Of Metal" come to mind), a fact which is I s’pose is only acceptable if you a call yourself a Manowar fan. Which I do.

Unfortunately where "New Metal Leader" had songs like "Blood Of Knives", "We Will Kill" and "God Of Dying" which still get my fist pumping and blood flowing (and which with Powerwolf and Twisted Sister shared the honour of being my soundtrack to Bloodstock 2010), "Hailstorm" is somewhat lacking in repeating that successful formula of catchy singalongs, simple heavy metal rhythms, ballsy solos and cheesy 'epic' synth. The title-track is the closest thing you'll get to such a feeling but in "Burn Alive", "Great Gods Glorious" and "Among The Ruins" there is too much that plods along devoid of the joie de vivre of "New…", a mishmash of cluttered riffs and lack of imagination in song structures that will not last any band this side of AC/DC more than a 3 or 4 albums, at best.

Whereas "New Metal Leader" got past it's bog-standard modern production and generic heavy/power metal vocals through plenty of festival-friendly tendencies and a controlled manning of the band's minimal songwriting variation, "Hailstorm" just doesn't attempt to spread it's wings as wide as the eagle adorning the cover to suggest an improvement into album two.


Download: Hailstorm, Dead Man’s Curve
For The Fans Of: Manowar, Hammerfall
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 29.10.2010
AFM Records

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