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The Lord Is Risen - 85%

suncross, October 21st, 2007

Broken Hill is a small desert community 1,100 km west of Sydney. This mining town has metal in its veins. It has the largest lead-zinc-silver deposit in the world, provided the location for Mad Max 2: the Road Warrior and given birth to Lord Tim, the founder of Lord.

Ascendence is the best power metal album I have heard in a long time. Being Australian, they blend the finest of Europe and the US, mixing continental melody with Yankee crunch. The closest band to Lord’s sound is Mystic Prophecy from Germany. Lord is better.

Ascendence’s 12 songs contain sufficient diversity to keep the listener’s interest throughout the entire disc. The highlights include ‘Reborn’ which is a solid representation of where Lord is coming from and where they are going. This is about big choruses and tight, well executed songs that don’t overstay their welcome.

‘Through the Fire’ and ‘Rain’ stand out, not least because of the distinctive soloing from guest lead guitarist Chris Brooks. ‘Limb from Limb’ is huge, bordering on thrash with gang vocals and a throat tearing delivery. This deserves to be a classic in the live setlist.

‘220’ gives Dragonforce a lesson in frenetic finger bleeding fretboard fury and ‘Legacy’ closes the album in an epic manner with a poignant outro.

Lord really is a new beginning. The production is improved (although I’d like to hear more bass) and the cover art is fantastic. The entire package is completed with liner notes, lyrics and photos.

I have only minor criticisms. I suspect that the introspective lyrics are meant to differentiate Lord from Dungeon. However, by the end of the album I felt like I’d signed up for a Tony Robbins motivational course. Perhaps the next release will be an opportunity to mix it up with material similar to Gallipoli and Curse of the Pharaohs.

Lord has delivered the gutsiest power metal album of the year with Ascendence. The Lord is risen.