Ross The Boss – By Blood Sworn (2018)

Coming in like a twenty-thousand pound bus full of sweaty barbarians wondering if they’d gotten off at the wrong stop on their way to a Conan convention, we have the latest effort from Ross The Boss. This one absolutely slays with the power and fury of all that is heavy metal, and there’s no doubt about that. Not only do we have several calls to arms like “This Is Vengeance” and “By Blood Sworn” but we also have lighter cuts like “Among The Bones” and “Faith Of The Fallen” which is a tremendous ballad. I never knew the guys had it in them for this one. When I listened to that last Ross The Boss album, I remember it being rather fiery; but this one is a completely different type of beast altogether. I’m actually reminded of Wasp a little, due to the fact that there doesn’t appear to be a set rhyme or reason between tracks and yet everything still manages to come off without a hitch. There are a few songs that I feel may have dragged on the album, like the ode to classic punk found in “Circle Of Damnation” (even though it is structured fashionably well) but the Manowar covers included as bonus tracks still feel well-represented in the mix. You don’t need them, but they’re nice to have. Aside from that, I definitely have to say that the epic “Lilith” really managed to exceed my expectations and that means a great deal, considering that I wear a once bronzed, yet slowly turning cerulean pendant with her archetypal image imprinted on it. Where Iced Earth failed with their ode to this archetype in “Seven Headed Whore” (even though I think that track more or less revolves around government corruption, rather than say; an epic about the antichrist in “Damien”) I feel that Ross The Boss made up for that here with spellbinding heavy metal performance that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon, and will be adding to my own personal playlist. I still feel that the best song related to this archetype is actually Dissection’s “Dark Mother Divine” but that was an actual incantation, so you can’t really do much better than that. It always felt like a “rockin’ hymn” to me.

That being said, Ross The Boss perform quite a bit of rocking on this album and it’s good to hear that the disc isn’t a Manowar retread. We already know what Manowar sounds like and as much as I loved Death Dealer‘s War Master record; I’m glad to hear a performance that breaks free from the mold of “Hail and Kill” based songs (which ironically appears at the end of this disc as one of the three Manowar bonus covers) and just focuses on solid song structures that feature such a great degree of deviation that you don’t mind listening to the whole disc several times in a row. We tend to want to relisten to albums that don’t feel like they’ve exhausted us after the first time, and really get that dopamine flowing to the effect that our brains just want “more.” For me, songs like “Among The Bones”, “Faith of The Fallen” and of course “Lilith” are just a few of the tunes here that cause my brain to scream for pleasure. You really can’t ask for much more than that.

Ross The Boss crafted one hell of a good listen with By Blood Sworn and those Manowar covers really put the icing on this delicious heavy metal and rock n’ roll cake. It reminds me of a time when rock was rock, and we weren’t so concerned about subgenres and such as the music was all that mattered. Click on the link below, if you remember the days of great rock music and want to reminisce.

(13 Tracks, 16:00)

8/10

Purchase HERE (Amazon)

8.0

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