Lord - Digital Lies (Dominus Records)

Highly accomplished return from a band yet to disappoint...

You can, of course, always rely on Lord to deliver the goods each time they enter a recording studio; They are one of those bands that so clearly care about what they do that the chance of a duff track ever making it to the stage of appearing on one of their albums is as likely as MaF’s own Mick Strong being first to the bar or last out of a taxi, and so we greet Digital Lies not with trepidation but rather with the baited-breathy question ‘how good will it be’?..

The answer, I’m pleased to report, is very good. If you get the standard release of the album you’ll be rewarded with a round dozen slabs of classy, mature and poised heavy metal (note: this record, varied as it is, transcends the band’s former ‘power metal’ appellation, placing them amongst that select band of acts that really do have the chops to represent the entire genre of heavy metal as they please) which, though polished to a lustrous sheen, always contains enough oomph to keep even the most low-foreheaded metallist happy with the album’s ferrous content.

As indicated, all bases are covered, from the Maidenesque epicry of Conan tale The Battle of Venarium, through perky power metal (the melodically forceful Betrayal Blind), thrash (Chalkboard Prophet carries with it some crushingly Hetfieldesque riffage) through to pure eighties-soaked hard rock majesty (as an exemplar of same Walk Away is near-peerless), ‘Lord’ Tim Grose and company leave no stones unturned in their quest to bring the listener audio satiation, striking paydirt at every turn. 

Everyone puts in a man of the match performance here; Grose proves himself a versatile vocalist over the course of the record, handling every genre he throws at himself with aplomb, never sounding forced or contrived whatever twists the tunes take, and his partnership with fellow six stringer Mark Furtner is coming along very nicely indeed – the pair contrast and reinforce one another’s playing superbly throughout, whilst in the engine room drummer Damian Costas and bassist Andy Dowling keep things nailed down neatly, providing enough ballast for the twin axe assault to flourish over yet still adding their own finesse when required; Dowling throws in a lovely bass run during the thrashing Final Seconds that’ll bring a smile to your face every time you hear it, and that, there, is the album in a nutshell - musically accomplished and a huge pleasure to listen to. Add it to your collection now.

Digital Lies is out now through Dominus Records/Riot