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Ross The Boss: New Metal Leader
Melodic Heavy Metal
Rating: 5.0/5.0

Ross The Boss needs no introduction to most metal fans. But for the ignorant, here's a brief bio. Ross Friedman, also known as Ross Funicello or Ross The Boss, is a guitarist and founding member of both the punk band The Dictators and the heavy metal band Manowar. He's been significantly absent as of late, but has made some appearances with both bands in the last several years. His new band, Ross The Boss, was formed after playing with the Manowar cover band Men Of War at the 2006 Keep It True Festival in Germany. The gig went so well that they decided to continue, play old Manowar material, and compose original material. The result is 'New Metal Leader,' a thick slice of 'keeping it true' heavy metal.

From beginning to end, you have all the stuff you love here: screaming metal vocals, stinging and soaring solos, and a galloping pace from a rock solid rhythm section. Most of the material here is traditional heavy metal with themes of battle, heroism and victory. Songs like 'I Got The Right,' 'Death & Glory,' and 'Plague Of Lies' travel the road of solid, traditional heavy metal. But the Ross The Boss can still trick you up within the basic motif. 'May The God Be With You' approaches more melodic hard rock with a settled tempo and catchy chorus. On 'Matador' the pace is deliberate and the fret work fiery; yet, at the end, concludes with some sterling Spanish guitar licks. Finally, on 'Immortal Son,' you may think that Ross and company have stumbled with its slow, almost plodding, start. But you're mind is changed quickly as it progresses into an epic metal masterpiece.

For some this work will be too much old school: been there, heard that before. But, I say it doesn't have to be old or traditional to be classic, fresh, inspiring and immensely entertaining. 'New Metal Leader' is all that. Grab it and pump your fist in the air. Highly recommended.
- Craig Hartranft


In Short

Ross The Boss brings us back to classic heavy metal with his new band and a new album. 'New Metal Leader' is filled with power and fire. Ross has never sounded better. 'New Metal Leader' simply proves that great traditional metal can still inspire and entertain, and possibly breathe some new life into the metal world.

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