Unlike his former band mates from Manowar, which declared about ending their career and last tour, Ross ‘Ross The Boss’ Friedman in age of 64 is not going to stop. Indeed, the list of bands and projects, where Ross played besides Manowar is impressive. And now, in 2018 there comes third album from the band Ross The Boss (or The RTB Band) – By Blood Sworn.
The band Ross The Boss was created in early 2000. Manowar‘s fans wanted Ross to return to the band; still 1980-1988, when Ross played there, are the golden era of Manowar. This didn’t happen, but in 2006 he played a couple of songs with German cover band Men Of War. The project changed name to Ross The Boss and started to write their own material. As a result, the first band’s album New Metal Leader was released in 2007 and two years later was released the second one Hailstorm. In 2012 Ross concentrates on his work in Death Dealer band but nevertheless Ross The Boss didn’t went anywhere and the work continued there. So, today’s line-up is Mark Lopez (vocals, keyboards), Ross Friedman (guitar), Mike LePond (bass) and Lance Barnewold (drums), which would be replaced by Steve Bolognese in upcoming tour.
By Blood Sworn contains ten new songs and three Manowar covers – “Each Dawn I Die”, “The Oath” and immortal “Hail And Kill”
An album itself, of course, played in Manowar style – that one oldschool “True Heavy Metal” – rough and aggressive. But the most important thing is that it has that Manowar‘s magic: catchy songs that inspire, give strength and gather a lots of people on shows, which as one rise their hands assembled in a ring. It can be heard in “The Faith Of Fallen”, for example – beautiful and powerful song with long melodic guitar solo that goes into drum solo.
However, not only metal hymns and epics, which Ross is so glorious, are present in an albub, but also typical Heavy Metal songs from 80’s like “Among The Bones” and “Devil’s Day”.
It is not necessary to talk about the professionalism of musicians: even to play Manowar‘s covers it needs a high level of playing. Ross Friedman is still skillful with the instrument, but Lance Barnewold and Mike LePond were unexpectedly pleased with their parts and drums and bass solos.
Also it’s necessary to tell separately about vocalist Mark Lopez. He is a real good vocalist, however it’s a nuance. Imagine later Bruce Dickinson that sings in Eric Adams’ style – hoarsely, with sharp uptrend. Sounds good, isn’t it? But with the music that the band play it’s very unusually at first. Apparently, the image of Manowar, which has firmly settled in the head and does not want to go out, is affecting.
Well, shortly resuming, pedestals don’t stay empty for long. Of course, Manowar will live for a long time in playlists of many metalheads, but Ross The Boss is the most worthy replacement out of all possible. The kings are dead. Long live the king!
By Blood Sworn will be released on April, 20 via AFM Records.