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Album Reviews : LORD – Fallen Idols

By on August 11, 2019

Australian power/trad band LORD is back in full force with their sixth album Fallen Idols. LORD has been a mainstay in the Australian metal scene for decades, stretching back to their original incarnation as Dungeon, yet Fallen Idols shows no signs of slowing down with age. The promotional material surrounding the new album gives a sense of a band going back to the drawing board, attempting to find something new and fresh without losing the core elements of their identity. The album has been a lengthy process, being six years since 2013’s Digital Lies. The intervening years have included several live albums, compilations and remasters of the LORD/Dungeon back catalogue, framing the process of moving forward while acknowledging the past. The result is Fallen Idols, an album that mixes in elements of power, thrash, trad and extreme metal, delivering a strong metal slab that is not without the core aspects of LORD.

The intensity begins right out of the gate with the slamming intro to ‘United (Welcome Back)’ that sets the tone for the album with strong riffs and a very catchy chorus. The riffing and songwriting on the album are a cut above the rest; while there are plenty of conventionally cheesy power metal moments in the mix, LORD is never restrained by this in their riff-writing. The best songs on the album manage to balance the mix of genres well. ‘Edge of the World’ moves from a dramatic opening into full-bore thrash metal intensity that is captivating from start to finish – if there was ever something called ‘extreme power metal’, this would be it! ‘Master of Darkness’ likewise features some great riffs and is immediately high-energy, carried along well on the strength of the introduction riff. Other moments have a distinct symphonic/progressive touch to them, recalling modern Kamelot. The solos on the track work well too balancing shredding craziness with a sense of melody and phrasing. ‘Chaos Reigning’ has a solid sense of groove throughout and an awesome chorus with oodles of vocal harmonies that stands out on an album filled with fantastic choruses.

The album has a great deal of depth and variety to it as well. ‘Counting Down The Hours’ is a veritable ‘how-to’ for 80s-style power ballads; it’s cheesy as all hell but aspiring songwriters should take note of how the song builds gradually to high peaks and another golden chorus. ‘Wilder Than the Wind’ has a bit of a glam feel to the main riff and has a sense of attitude that I think will make for an excellent live show. Likewise, with ‘Nod to the Old School’, a song that appears semi-autobiographical and spans the variety of sounds that comprise LORD quite well while staying coherent. The rest of the album holds up the general energy and quality well: ‘Immortal’ features a strong opening, great riffs and a wild solo; ‘Fallen Idols’ is filled with catchy riffs and melodies; and ‘Kill or Be Killed’ mixes heavy riffing with squealing power metal guitars in another fun track that has a particularly cool chanting crowd moment after the solo.

Overall, LORD has provided an excellent album. 10 songs (on the standard Australian edition of the album) is the perfect length as well; there is very little that drags, and few songs overstay their welcome. One minor point of criticism concerns the solos, that, while technically dazzling and perfectly functional, often feel a bit ‘samey’ as the album proceeds. Nonetheless, fans of the band will have plenty to love while those who don’t usually go in for power metal might find themselves surprised at the variety and depth on show.

Band: LORD
Album:  Fallen Idols
Year: 2019
Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal
Label: Dominus Records
Origin: Australia
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About

Ben is a metalhead originally from Sydney, who has now moved to Hobart to pursue a PhD in Australian extreme metal. When not studying, writing about or playing metal, he can be found playing video games, browsing Reddit, knitting, fending off his cat or helping out at his local church.