HOUSE OF LORDS

"Indestructible" (Frontiers; 2015)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I think I discovered House Of Lords on MTV when they played the track "Can't Find My Way Home," a Blind Faith classic, and the soaring vocals of James Christian really caught my ear. They had a couple of other videos as well. Fast forward a whole lot of years, twenty seven to be exact and, I'm listening to a House Of Lords album via the internet. My, how times change and somehow House Of Lords does not.

I grew up on metal, cut my teeth on it and sometimes my fingers because I was cutting out pages of Hit Parader magazine and covering my prison (bedroom) walls with color. I don't remember if House Of Lords ever made it on there but I can tell you that it's the music that takes me back. There have been a whole lot of dudes run through House Of Lords: Gregg Guiffria (Guiffria) is one and Lanny Cordola (who replaced Ken Tamplin in Magdallan) is another. Tommy Aldridge smashed sticks in House Of Lords during their heyday. This type of metal is the kind with great vocals and excellent guitar via the solos and showmanship that a lot of people loved and wanted to keep alive. I know that music changes but when I play this type of music even my kids can dig it.

James Christian is the only original remaining member. He's got some fine musicians backing him so the sound is still the same: clean, solid and rocking. That's all I require when listening to music that has its roots in the late 80s and early 90s. I know the lyrics might get hammered but that's okay, these guys know how to rock and write a ballad, diversity still rings true. Any fan of 80s metal will dig the keyboard solos and guitar solos. Don't call it classic, it's timeless.

House of Lords: James Christian - lead vocals, guitar, keyboards; Jimi Bell - guitar; Jeff Kent - keyboards, bass, backing vocals; B.J. Zampa - drums, backing vocals; Chris McCarvill - bass, backing vocals; Jeff Batter - keyboards.

Follow them on the web here - http://www.jameschristianmusic.com.

"Come to My Kingdom" (Blistering; 2008)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I can't imagine any House of Lords fan being displeased with the very entertaining "Come to My Kingdom."

Fat with melody and still chunky enough to count as a "hard rock" record, "Come to My Kingdom" delivers thirteen irresistible tracks perfectly suited to fans of the classic rock sound of Whitesnake, Deep Purple and, yes, House of Lords.

Vocalist James Christian sounds terrific as always. His style can safely be described as "soaring" (no matter how cliche that description becomes). True, the sappy lyrics are often a bit too much, but a razor-sharp guitar solo or driving chord (be it guitar or keyboard) will take out some of the saccharine sweetness.

And, yes, there are always fans who will miss the master keyboard style of the absent Greg Giuffria but "Come to My Kingdom" stands on its own and to wonder what it would have been like with Giuffria on board is really nothing more than wasted time.

House of Lords: James Christian - Vocals; Jimi Bell - Guitar; Chris McCarvill - Bass; B.J. Zampa - Drums.

For more information, check out http://www.jameschristianmusic.com

"Live in the U.K." (Frontiers Records; 2007)

Reviewed by Edwin Van Hoof

Back by popular demand! That’s a phrase covering the essence of this mighty piece of rocking history: HOUSE OF LORDS! With the band being reunited in their most impressive line up (minus founder and key wizard Greg Giuffria), expectations are running high. James Christian, Chuck Wright, Lanny Cordola and Ken Mary! Their ‘homecoming’ performance in the UK instantly reinstated their name in rock, and this recording of that extraordinary proves just that! 

“Live in the UK” may also be called the band’s ‘best of’ collection, performed live in front of an enthusiastic crowd. From the introduction on, it is one big celebration of melodic rock with a band at their best. 

“Sahara” boosts the band into “Chains of Love,” the amazing (Stan Bush & Barrage) ballad “Love Don’t Lie” to shift up for the mighty “Pleasure Palace.” And it is not only a glimpse of long lost times we get! The band sounds inspired and on top of their game with an accelerating Cordola revving it up on guitars. The solos are razor sharp and his riffs are powerful and force-fed. The solid and thunderous foundation from veteran Wright in combination with Mary’s powerful drumming is loud and soulful, and provide the power for one of the best rock bands to have ever walked the earth’s surface. 

And, with Christian shining like he did in his old days, there is nothing that can go wrong. "Talkin’ bout Love" and “The Edge of Your Life” are delivered prior to a turning point in this performance. From the band’s reunion album “The Power & The Myth,” three newer tracks are played. Much more full frontal and stripped down to the essence of hard rock, lacking the ear mingling quality of greatness marking the band’s memorable majestic sound. “Mind Trip” and “The Rapture” do well though, where “All is Gone” fits the profile of the old times a bit better. Though standing out, they aren’t falling out completely, especially when the band returns to the historical agenda of the show. 

Keyboards swirl and pump up the sound to the max with the slow moving “I Wanna Be Loved” and the intimate “Can’t Find My Way Home” to go full shred once again with the hammering rock anthem “Slip of the Tongue” which brings this CD and the memorable night at Firefest to an end! 

Added as a bonus treat is the Japan only bonus track “Havana,” a writing collaboration of Giuffria & Christian with Tim Pierce and Mark Spiro, a song that fits the HOL trademark a lot better than most of the music on “The Power & The Myth.” 

House of Lords returned with a bang that night and this CD has captured a magical moment in the history of rock, presented in crisp sound and with an explosive enthusiasm from a band featuring some of the best names in rock. A classic reunion, a classic CD.

For more information, check out http://www.houseoflords.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2016 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jul 2017 13:44:32 -0400.