Fireworks

House Of Lords - 'Saint Of The Lost Souls' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/77/3c/19/House-Of-Lords-Saint-Of-the-Lost-Souls-79-1496256045.jpg Hot

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Once again House Of Lords illustrate exactly why the Melodic Rock world still gets all hot and bothered when the band announce a new album.

Since the much maligned comeback album 'The Power And The Myth' (go on, give it another spin, it's better than you remember), the James Christian-led House Of Lords have released a string of excellent, proud, Melodic Hard Rock albums with 'Saint Of The Lost Souls' being the band's seventh outing in eleven years. Aiding and abetting Christian on that impressive run have been guitarist Jimi Bell, drummer B.J. Zampa and bassist Chris McCarvill. However, with the latter of the three heading to musical pastures new, HOL have suffered their first reshuffle in over a decade, as new four-string expert Chris Tristram joins the fold.

If that suggests even the merest chink in the band's armour, it doesn't show. Following up 2015's 'Indestructible' should have been a tall order, the slightly fierier sound the band have mined since their reinvention possibly never sounding better. That point made, what stands out on '...Souls' is the more prominent role the keyboards play, always a key element of the band's sound, restored to a prominence maybe not heard since a certain Gregg Giuffria said his farewells.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Don't take that to mean that Bell's guitar has been forced to clunk-click into the backseat. Hell no! The underrated fret-smith is still tearing out riffs that make the title cut and 'Grains Of Sand' razor sharp stabs of melodic majesty, while his solos throughout could boil the kettles of the nation during the adverts in Coronation Street, such is the electrifying nature of his decisive forays.

Yet, it's 'Reign Of Fire' that throws up a little interesting aside from HOL. An unquestionably Proggy keyboard dart and swirl, and when added to one of Bell's most dexterous displays, these flourishes make this track an excellent and unexpected sidestep on an album that elsewhere provides extra special helpings of exactly what you'd hoped for. Add in Christian's unmistakable and still breath-taking vocals and once again House Of Lords illustrate exactly why the Melodic Rock world still gets all hot and bothered when the band announce a new album.

With results as good as this, don't expect the temperature to drop any time soon.

Steven Reid

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