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Album Reviews : Lord – Set In Stone

By on September 20, 2009

SISlarge‘Set in Stone’, the third album under the Lord name, sees the band branch out and really draw in the variety of influences they’ve touched on in the past. While Lord (and vocalist Lord Tim’s previous outfit Dungeon) has never been the type to rehash songs, this release sees those ideas expanded further making the variety much more blatant than before. Heavy metal, thrash, AOR, melodic rock, power metal, all moulded into one smooth and undeniably Lord sound.

“Redemption” kicks thing off in their most typical style; a speedy yet melodic track that blends a range of metal genres to create something that sits between thrash and power metal, while “Eternal Storm” jumps the pace up even more and introduces some very impressive guitar work. That’s a song that you appreciate even more after watching them play it live. After some awkward highschool-rock-band opening vocals that make me cringe, “100 Reasons” proves to be the poppiest number with a chorus that you’ll struggle to forget and vocal lines that are just straightforward fun. Previously released on an EP titled ‘Hear No Evil’, “Set in Stone” is another more melody and chorus based track that’s just as catchy, if not more so. Between those two tracks, you’ll have Lord replaying in your head for yonks. “Someone Else’s Dream” is one that caught me, and I’m sure many other fans, by surprise. The combination of synths and Lord Tim’s ever-improving rougher thrash vocals results in something that’s tough to classify. AO…T? Regardless, it’s a good ‘un. “Forever”, “The End Of Days” and “Be My Guest” all drag out to almost the 8 minute mark, longer than usual for these guys, and the songs benefit from it with the former two flowing through a myriad of paces and styles flawlessly with no meandering. “Be My Guest” however is a blatant wankfest and is exactly what the title suggests. The band got in contact with the many musicians they have met over the years and invited them to contribute guest performances. The end product: 7 minutes and 52 seconds of guitar, bass, keyboard and drum solos with a few pieces of melody to hold them together. With musicians that have been in Megadeth, Dio, Dragonland, Angra, Vanishing Point and a host more, it’s certainly not lacking in any department.

One change that instantly stood out to me is the more interesting vocal melodies. They’re that bit riskier than they were on their previous album ‘Ascendence’, and a few sounded quite odd to me to begin with. But, apart from the god-awful beginning to “100 Reasons” they have all grown on me.  At the end of the day, this album is an improvement in every way. The musicianship is that bit more complex, the writing that bit more interesting, and the sound that bit more varied. It’s just a step up in every area.

This is an album that no doubt will satisfy Lord fans, the vast majority of Dungeon fans, and will probably convert everybody else that hears it too. Lord continue to be one of Australia’s premier metal bands, and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. 8.5/10

For fans of: Firewind, Iron Maiden, Black Majesty, Primal Fear, Dungeon.

Band: Lord
Album: Set In Stone
Year: 2009
Genre: Heavy Metal
Origin: New South Wales, Australia
Label: Dominus Records/Riot! Entertainment
myspace.com/lordaus

Track listing:
1. Spectres of the Ascendant
2. Redemption
3. 100 Reasons
4. Eternal Storm
5. Set In Stone
6. Someone Else’s Dream
7. Forever
8. Beyond the Light
9. The End Of Days <- Reviewers choice
10. Be My Guest
11. New Horizons

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.