Spanish heavy/power metal revelation LORDS OF BLACK are finally back with their fourth full-length album entitled “Alchemy of Souls Pt. 1,” to be released via Frontiers Music Srl. The band jumped quickly from the underground scene into the mainstream when Chilean-born vocalist Ronnie Romero joined Ritchie Blackmore’s RAINBOW. Ever since, Mr. Romero has been very busy collaborating with pretty much everyone in the business, including other guitar heroes such as Adrian Vandenberg and Michael Schenker. After initially leaving the band in the beginning of last year, Ronnie came back just in time to be part of the recording process with co-founder, guitarist and main songwriter Tony Hernando.
Album opener “Dying To Live Again” is a very effective way to grab your attention and throw you into a world of powerful riffs and double bass drum beats, which blend into a melodic chorus, showcasing all of Ronnie’s potential as a singer. You can easily understand why everyone wants to work with him, quickly becoming the Ronnie James Dio of his generation. “Into the Black” is a very catchy continuation and incorporates plenty of keyboards, giving the song a more modern feeling without forgetting about the great guitar work by Hernando. “Deliverance Lost” starts as a very traditional, pompous, power metal song, only to evolve into a more melancholic vocal line with lots of drama in Romero’s interpretation.
“Sacrifice” brings some new elements to the mix, with plenty of ’80s AOR vibes, enriching the musical pallet of the album. The amazing vocal delivery, full of passion and class, is again top notch. As a Chilean, I can’t help but to feel proud about Ronnie’s achievements. “Brightest Star” also contributes something new to the table, featuring a heavy and proggy riff resembling QUEENSRYCHE‘s classic era; very classy stuff indeed. “Closer to Your Fall” adds some brighter notes and includes one of the catchiest vocal melodies in the album, while “Shadows Kill Twice” opens with some very emotional guitar work before bringing the intensity back.
In “Disease in Disguise” they return to a more traditional, epic, heavy metal sound, which they excel at as well. But there are more surprises waiting for us, with that hard rock delicacy entitled “Tides of Blood,” full of reminiscences to Dio and WHITESNAKE, which of course, suits Ronnie’s voice very well. The ten-minute epic title track “Alchemy of Souls” begins with a masterful classic Spanish guitar intro, evolving into a cinematic, larger-than-life heavy metal anthem filled with middle eastern flavours. As a coda, we have the short ballad “You Came to Me,” where we get a last soft taste of Romero’s soulful performance.
With “Alchemy Of Souls,” LORDS OF BLACK take a solid step forward in their career, becoming probably their most eclectic and bold album to date. We witness a confident band that seems to keep evolving and exploring new territories with each release and are not afraid to experiment with different elements in the studio. The exquisite balance between heavy riffing and colorful vocal melodies makes them stand out from your average Euro power metal band. Of course, none of this would be possible without the songwriting genius of Hernando and the golden pipes of Romero, so we hope they can find a way to work together for many years still.
Written by David Araneda
- Dying To Live Again
- Into The Black
- Deliverance Lost
- Brightest Star
- Closer To Your Fall
- Shadows Kill Twice
- Disease In Disguise
- Tides Of Blood
- Alchemy Of Souls
- You Came To Me (Piano Version)
Ronnie Romero – vocals
Tony Hernando – guitars
Jo Nunez – drums
Dani Criado – bass
Frontiers Music Srl
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