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Live Reviews : Ross The Boss, Night Legion & Horizons Edge @ The Croxton, Melbourne 28/04/2018

By on April 29, 2018

Images: Sebastian Marino
Words: Damo Musclecar

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I think at one time or another, every metal fan has had an appreciation for the self-proclaimed Kings Of Metal, the almighty Manowar. For years diehard fans across the country have been hoping the band would somehow find someone with a big enough cheque-book to foot the bill to bring them to our shores but alas, it has never happened. So what do you do? You bring the next best thing, none other than one of the co-founding members of the metal legends themselves, Ross The Boss! Let’s be honest, Ross The Boss’ career has been a non-stop barrage of punk, rock and metal from his days in The Dictators, to Manowar, to his many side projects and now his own solo band. And what a band they are! But let’s get to that in a second.

First up off the ranks was Melbourne operatic metallers, Horizon’s Edge. I’d never heard them before so this was refreshing to hear this happening in my hometown. They put on a decent show with some slick guitar work and vocalist Kat Sproule is captivating on stage as she lets out one hell of a wail. A great way to get the party started.

Following them was Sydney power metal act, Night Legion. I gotta hand it to the band’s frontman, Vo Simpson, the dude can sing like a motherfucker. It’s pretty obvious why these guys were chosen to support The Boss and there’s no sign of objection from the punters. Everyone lapped it up and rightly so. They’ve earned it. This was a Euro-styled fist in the air good time as they got the crowd psyched for what was to follow.

How do you even prepare yourself for a show of this magnitude? I mean, we are talking Ross The Boss, not some random upstart (not that there’s anything wrong with that), we are talking a dude who was a street-walkin’ cheetah with a heart full of napalm on the streets of New York City; the birthplace of punk rock. We are talking a guy who put together a band playing pure fucking heavy metal that sounded like the hammer of Thor as it cracks the sky (not that I have ever heard that myself but ive read enough Manowar lyrics to get an idea of what it would sound like). This is a guy who shreds like the best of them. A guy whose name should be no mystery to anyone within the circles of punk and metal.

But tonight was not about punk although the attitude is still there. This is about heavy metal and a damn good showing of it as tonight, Ross The Boss had promised us a set of classic Manowar battle hymns (pun intended). Before the show, the talk of the night overheard amongst the audience was pretty common, ‘Can the singer cut it?’ It’s a worthy question to ask cos let’s face it, Eric Adams is big shoes to fill, and it’s one I’m sure vocalist Marc Lopes is faced with daily. Well let me tell you something, Lopes is doing just fine. The moment they walked out on stage and ripped into ‘Blood Of The Kings’, there was no need to wonder anymore. The band sounded hot. Everything was how it should be and Ross did what he does best and that’s kill it with power (pun intended).

Ross played hit after hit. They sounded pretty darn incredible and the horns were raised by all. Tracks like ‘The Oath’, ‘Each Dawn I Die’, ‘Thor (The Powerhead)’, ‘Fighting The World’, and ‘Sign Of The Hammer’, all went down an absolute treat with the packed house witnessing heavy metal mayhem and might by one of the best in the business. Even the slower numbers like ‘Gloves Of Metal’ and ‘Bridge Of Death’ still kept the hungry audience wanting more and more and man, did they just keep on delivering. The cry for Manowar masterpiece ‘Hail And Kill’ was unstoppable and the band had no other way round it but to appease the hordes of metal warriors in attendance and give the people what they craved. No matter what way you hear it, Hail And Kill is possibly the definitive Manowar tune and tonight’s performance was ear damaging in all the good ways. All men play on ten, hell yeah they do.

This was a solid night of metal and the packed Croxton was a sure sign that the metal community is thriving. We may not get the actual Manowar to come to Australia but tonight, it didn’t matter. We got one hell of a show played by one of the originals. Someone who was there from the start. A show that didn’t have bass solos after every second song or extended speeches about how the whole world is trying to keep Manowar down. No, what we got was Ross The Boss delivering the goods, kicking out the jams, and giving us all we could have ever wanted… and more. Thank you.