This is the tenth studio album of House of Lords and they have undergone something of an evolution since the first album. Sophisticated layers of musicianship like the best chocolate cake with spice thrown in, the complexity of some of the tracks reminded us a lot of Winger. James Christian on vocals also recorded and produced the album, Jimi Bell is still on guitar, with a new bassist Chris Tristram and BJ Zampa on rhythm. Strangely for an album said to ‘lean a bit more towards keyboards’ this time, publicity for the album had no named keyboard player. However, we hear James Christian is primarily responsible for the ivories and Michele Luppi of Whitesnake helped out.
‘Harlequin’ which kicks things off has a lengthy keyboard intro showing that the band still has roots in epic grand affairs. However, there’s a move (as with later tracks ‘Saints of the Lost Souls’, ‘New Day Breakin’, ‘Reign of Fire’, ‘Concussion’ and ‘Grains of Sand’) to influences from the east, unusual key changes and rhythms (similar to those we have seen Kip Winger introduce to great effect in his work), but this does not stop them being accessible to the western ear. ‘Concussion’, in particular, is very accessible with a memorable chorus despite it’s unexpected nature. ‘Oceans Divide’ is a more traditionally structured aor track showcasing vocals with an insistent pace. ‘Hit the Wall’ is more laid back and understated, as is ‘The Sun Will Never Set Again’ an electric acoustic ballad and ‘The Art of Letting Go’ with its hushed style vocals, all nevertheless effective. ‘The Other Option’ is more American in its approach, with a bouncy chorus more like something Danger Danger might do.
Experimental in parts, but kind to the ear, we think House of Lords fans should be very happy with this release!