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House Of Lords - Saints And Sinners Award winner

House Of Lords
Saints And Sinners
by Kevin Lewis at 18 November 2022, 6:09 PM

HOUSE OF LORDS is an American hard rock band formed in 1987. There has been a revolving door of members with no originals left. Saints And Sinners, their 13th full-length album, was released on September 16, 2022, via Frontiers records. Leaning into the harder rock section of AOR, there is a ton of catchy music with big hooks, killer rhythms and radio-friendly tones. The album opens with the title track, “Saints And Sinners,” a mid-tempo banger with some nice guitar and keyboard tones laced together in a pretty cool riff. The overall tone is upbeat, the vocals are clean with a bit of grit and the rhythm is catchy. A few nice chants at the chorus give voice to some really good harmonies that will heard throughout the album.

The keyboards are more dominant on “House Of The Lord.” No matter who leads, James or Jimi, there is a killer tone to their riffs. Again, this is radio-friendly rock, so the hit songs are going to have less of the heavy, dark feel, instead aiming for the catchy hooks that get airplay. That is where HOUSE OF LORDS has always felt most comfortable. However, they can rock hard. Take “Road Warrior” for example. The keys are straight-up 80s hard rock with a DEEP PURPLE undertone and the guitars get heavier. They do heavy just as good as they do AOR. The chugging rhythm on this one is killer and the belting James does is some of his best. Remember, these are all world-class musicians who have played around the globe on some of the biggest stages. They know how to rock.

The longest song on the album is “Mistress Of The Dark” at just over seven minutes. It has a dark, extended intro and a slow, seductive tone. The bass is slow and methodical, the keys use lighter tones and the drums are modulated and well-paced. This is almost a power ballad, but not quite. It has a reverent lyrical tone for a mysterious woman, even professing something like love, but it just is not quite the ballad you might typically get from an AOR band like this. For a true ballad, we go to “Avalanche.” Heavy on piano for the first half of the song, the vocals are plaintive and the lyrics poignant. The theme is gentle and caring and the song has a calming, soothing effect on the mind. Even when the rest of the band kicks in for the final crescendo, the tone remains upbeat and hopeful. The minimalist, slow build on this track is very well done, never outpacing what the song requires.

One of the heaviest songs on the album is “Dreamin’ It All.” The guitar riff is deeper and darker in tone, giving the song more weight. The keys under the riff are sporadic, punctuating the riff well. the rhythm is solid, the bass steady and the drums have a few killer fills/runs to help push the song a little harder than most on this disc. The album wraps with “Angels Fallen,” another song that uses heavier tones at times. This is a bit more melodic in its’ heaviness, going for a brighter tone, but staying true to the lyrical content for timbre.

HOUSE OF LORDS is a solid Hard Rock band that knows how to craft songs geared towards a larger audience. This is radio-friendly, crossover music that will connect with a wider group of fans than many of the more niche acts out there today. They write songs that will appeal to fans on the fringe of Rock, including some Pop fans. Some Heavy Metal fans will like this because it’s catchy, has some excellent guitar/keyboard work. There is a bit of something for everyone on this disc.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Saints And Sinners
2. House Of The Lord
3. Take It All
4. Road Warrior
5. Mistress Of The Dark
6. Avalanche
7. Roll Like Thunder
8. Razzle Dazzle
9. Dreamin' It All
10. Takin My Heart Back
11. Angels Fallen
Lineup:
James Christian – Vocals/Guitars/Keyboards
Chris Tristram – Bass
B.J. Zampa – Drums/Backing Vocals
Jimi Bell – Lead Guitar
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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Edited 03 December 2022
 

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