Former Manowar guitarist Ross the Boss returns with all guns blazing on Conquered Lands (Steel Cartel), the third full-length release from his subtly named Death Dealer project. In a gloriously predictable manner, the riffs come thick and fast as gods, blood, battles and all other true metal necessities rain down like exploding magma from the skies.
Magnificently preposterous lyrics such as “the ancient one has found your black magic too extreme!” are belched from the earth on victorious opener ‘Sorcerer Supreme’, while ‘Every Nation’ is so utterly steeped in HEAVY FUCKING METAL that Manowar are probably sat around in their loincloths, grumbling that they didn’t come up with the chorus themselves.
After that, we get the frantic battle cry of ‘Beauty and the Blood’, while ‘Running with the Wolves’ and ‘The Heretic Has Returned’ both boil with molten riffs, and high pitched vocals courtesy of singer Sean Peck. The title track gives off serious Rainbow vibes, while ‘Hail to the King’ features another easy to memorize chorus, as well as allowing new bassist Mike Lepond (Symphony X, Ross the Boss) to show off his not inconsiderable talents.
‘Slay or be Slain’ is another rip-roaring beast driven by the drums of Steve Bolognese, as ‘Faith Under Fire’ strikes a more insistent tone and features some sweeping fretwork from guitarist Stu Marshall. There has to be a ballad, of course, and the Hammerfall-esque ’22 Gone’ does its job well before the climactic blast of ‘Born to Bear the Crown’ ends with the record with another singalong chorus which will hopefully grace the festival fields of 2021.
Yes, you might have heard it all before, but familiarity has always been your power metal friend, and Conquered Lands will be sure to keep the horns and hair flying. So, grab your denim and leather and set your time machine to Cheese Factor 1982, and just enjoy the ride.
Buy Conquered Lands here: http://www.deathdealermetal.com/store.html