Ross the Boss
New Metal Leader

Ego is something Manowar had plenty of and they flaunted it with their own robust approach. Some may feel the bands downfall was when co-founder Ross “The Boss” Friedman left the fold. Since then he’s tried his hand in a few different groups and was a founder of the punk outfit The Dictators. Recently, Ross Friedman got a metal fire lit under his ass again when he performed with Men at War, a Manowar cover band, and collaborated with them on this Ross the Boss debut, New Metal Leader.

The title says it all folks, New Metal Leader is fueled by traditional and power metal antics and fans of anything from Manowar to King Diamond will probably find enjoyment in this. Personally, this is way out of my realm of good taste but I couldn’t help bobbing my head and really jamming out to this bad boy while driving the other day. Though, I have never really listened to Manowar the influence is obvious and I also hear hints of Maiden in the guitar harmonies which reach epic proportions with ease. Both opening track “I.l.H” and “I Got the Right” start with excellent Maiden like dueling guitars.

Executed very well, New Metal Leader has an addictive set of songs and vocalist Patrick Fuchs does quite a job delivering them. I like his raspy edge and it adds just enough grit and harshness to these songs. Every now and then as with “Blood of Knives” he will bellow a high pitch wail ala King Diamond. Sure, his range isn’t comparable to the leaders in this genre but make no mistake he holds his own.

Soloing is rampant throughout this CD as one would expect. As influential of a guitarist as “The Boss” is there is no denying the man has chops. There is no slouching is the songwriting department either. Hooks and catchy riffs are all over this record, which make this a very accessible and enjoyable listen. It doesn’t hurt that the production is stellar either.

I don’t think there is a mystery to what can be found on this record. If you’re an old school metal fan there is no question this CD is for you. Kudos to the band, for “keeping it real” and producing some excellent tunes. Is this the new metal leader? I don’t think so but with a name like Ross the Boss an egotistic cheese parade is expected.

By: Shane Wolfensberger

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
January 22nd, 2009


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