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Tracklist

Mitwirkende

Künstler: Ross the Boss
Label: AFM Records

Rezension

New Metal Leader is a pompous title for an album, but then, Ross Friedman, also known as Ross Funicello and Ross the Boss, is entitled to some pomposity. The guitarist played a crucial role in Manowar during their early years, contributing to power metal classics like 1982's Battle Hymns and 1984's Hail to England before leaving that outfit in 1988 -- and in his pre-Manowar days, he was with the Dictators, a fine New York City punk band. Some of Ross' admirers insist that Manowar lost all merit after Ross' departure, but truth be told, they offered their share of worthwhile albums in the 1990s and 2000s. Nonetheless, Ross is an important figure in power metal, and this 2008 release is a respectable solo outing from the veteran headbanger (who turned 54 that year). Ross doesn't sing on New Metal Leader; he sticks to lead guitar, while the vocals are provided by Patrick Fuchs (Carsten Kettering is on bass, Matthias "Matze" Mayer on drums). And Fuchs' Rob Halford-isms serve Ross well on melodic but forceful tracks such as "Death and Glory," "Matador," "Blood of Knives," and "We Will Kill," all of which are straight-ahead power metal in the epic Judas Priest/Iron Maiden/Manowar tradition. New Metal Leader doesn't run away from power metal's stereotypical "swords, Viking warriors, and sorcerers" imagery; Ross passionately embraces every power metal cliché imaginable and does so without irony, which is a big part of the album's campy, overblown charm. This 48-minute CD won't win over those who have insisted that Manowar and similar bands are too cartoonish for their own good, but die-hard fans of this type of fantasy-based power metal will find that New Metal Leader -- although not quite in a class with Hail to England -- is an enjoyably consistent solo effort from Ross the Boss. [This edition includes bonus tracks.] ~ Alex Henderson