Stalwarts of the Australian metal scene, Lord, have returned for their first full length album in six years. And they return with no boundaries whatsoever – which has always been this bands m.o.
Fallen Idols is truly a melting pot of heavy metal styles, ranging from traditional metal and progressive to power, and bordering on death metal at times.
Look no further than opening track and first single “United (Welcome Back)” as it kicks things into gear, and sets the tone for what is to follow – blistering guitar, pounding rhythm and vocals that completely soar. Welcome back indeed, you have been missed!
Continuing into “Immortal”, the band demonstrate what a well oiled machine they are. The tightness and comfortability of the group is something that comes with time, and the core members of Lord have spent the better part of a decade together. Lord Tim, Andy Dowling and Mark Furtner form one cohesive unit, and that is evident in the music that they create together.
The title track, “Fallen Idols”, is a fast paced number that gallops along, more rooted in traditional metal, while “Wilder Than the Wind” calls early 80’s NWOBHM to mind, but the updated 2019 version – proving to be a highlight for me.
“Nod to the Old School” features lightning paced drumming, blistering lead guitar and a powerful vocal performance. I touched on it earlier, but Lord knows no boundaries. Each song is genre defying, which I love – and at the half way point of the album, every track has been as good, or better than the last. Not an ounce of filler!
The main riff in “Chaos Raining” is relentless, and the vocal performance is quite a bit darker than previous tracks, until some epic vocal harmonies are used to great effect, offering a splash of light to the overall tone. “The Edge of the World” opens slowly, before unleashing into thrashy, blackened territory – absolutely the heaviest moment of the record.
“Counting Down the Hours” is the perfect example of Lords diversity and versatility. A bold move too, putting essentially a power ballad straight after the heaviest track, but it works brilliantly. The bass lines in this song are immaculate too, but it’s really Lord Tims time to shine – his vocals are nothing short of impressive.
“Kill or be Killed” brings things back up a notch with absolute fret board wizardry, amazing rhythm and more stellar vocal lines. I’m an absolute sucker for gang vocals, so the chorus here puts a huge smile on my face. It’s an epic track over six minutes in length, but it never loses my interest. Well crafted from the get go.
To close out an exceptional album, we have “Master of Darkness”, and once again, Lord prove why they are as revered among fellow musicians as they are. In Australia, we have an amazing array of hard rock and heavy metal talent – Lord are quite possibly the best of the bunch.
Perfect from start to finish as it crosses multiple genres and forms various influences and styles into one cohesive album, Fallen Idols might just be the most perfect metal record I’ve heard in a while, certainly of this year.
Review by Shayne McGowan