Meister's Metal Mayhem

Blog 23 By The Meister

Remember House of Lords? The very first band that KISS mogul Gene Simmons signed to his upstart label back in 1988, House of Lords, has returned in 2014. Three years after they delivered the critically acclaimed release Big Money in 2011, House of Lords served up Precious Metal last month. This band has been rejuvenated and it’s easy to hear that the fire is back as you spin this ninth and newest of their catalogue that I would put up as one of the best they’ve issued in their tenure.

The Californian band has been issuing albums since that critically acclaimed debut in 1988, exhibiting somewhat of a revolving door of band members that sees only vocalist James Christian left standing from the debut today. The second effort, Sahara in 1990, featured a whole host of guest stars, but it was Demons Down in 1993 that stands out as the best of the trio. The sweeping grunge movement drastically changed the musical landscape and killed Demon’s chances of success, culminating in the band’s demise by 1993. A reuniting of most of the original players in 2000 resulted in the release of 2004’s The Power & the Myth with a different line up featured for 2006’s World Upside Down. For World Upside Down ,Christian had enlisted guitarist Jimi Bell and drummer B.J. Zampa creating some line up stability as both are still in the fold for today’s Precious Metal. Bassist Chris McCarvill signed on shortly after World Upside Down’s release, appearing on 2008’s Come to My Kingdom, but missing the next year’s Cartesian Dreams due to touring commitments with Dokken. Returning for Big Money he rounds out the line up for Precious Metal and is a big part of the rebirth of House of Lords and the chemistry that these four men exhibit together.Rock Rag #23-House of Lords - Precious Metal

Precious Metal, out on Frontiers Records February 21 in Europe and February 24 here at home, displays a lot of what brought House of Lords to attention in the beginning. The album is being touted as a return to roots and is a superior collection of melodic rock compositions. “Battle” leads the charge on the opening riff against the pounding back beat of Zampa’s drumming. The soaring harmonic vocal chorus showcases Christian’s singing abilities and continues through “I’m Breaking Free”. The keyboards are less prominent on this release but do make some appearances from time to time on cuts such as the beginnings of “Epic” (no relation to Faith No More’s “Epic”) but shrink into the background once again as the song explodes into full swing. The assault takes a little break, slowing things slightly for the well composed advice of “Live Every Day (Like It’s the Last)” with “Permission to Die” ramping up the pace again. Halfway through the 12 song compilation we find the title track “Precious Metal”, a ballad that allows Christian to showcase his tender vocal prowess, but not a favourite of mine. “Swimming with the Sharks” catapults us back into overdrive with “Raw” following hot on its heels. House of Lords driving force, Christian enlists the assistance of wife Robin Beck for the duet “Enemy Mine” (no relation to the 80’s movie) which is a little draggy and poppy for my enjoyment. “Action” opens with a chunky grinding riff and returns to the upbeat tempo while “Turn Back the Tide” exhibits the soaring vocal choruses that House of Lords do so well. Bringing it home is “You Might Just Save My Life”, another upbeat powerhouse doing justice to the whole collection and is a fitting end to Precious Metal. The album is sure to please diehard fans while drawing new blood to the House of Lords franchise; I recommend listening at an insanely high volume for optimum results.

Take a listen to the album that front man James Christian calls “…a testament to years of being a band that loves what they do and has so much more to offer in the years to come”



meister logo



The Meister

(“LIKE” The Meister on Facebook)



*Album inlay sleeves from previous House of Lords CD’s



Leave a Reply