Year : 1990 (Axe Killer Remastered Ltd Edition 1999)
Style : Melodic Hard Rock
Country : United States
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans + Videos
Size : 155 mb
House of Lords debuted in 1989 with the release of the self-titled album, a record which is still regarded as one of the best Arena Rock releases of the 80’s. The colossal sound, the soaring vocals of James Christian and instrumental capabilities of the band (which featured ex Angel and Giuffria, Gregg Giuffria, along with such luminaries as Lanny Cordola, Chuck Wright and Ken Mary), reminiscent of such frontrunners as Whitesnake, Deep Purple and Van Halen, immediately brought the band to the attention of the media and fans.With their sophomore release entitled “Sahara”, House of Lords gained considerable chart success with their cover version of Blind Faith’s “Can't Find My Way Home”. After a tour with Nelson in 1991, the group disbanded, eventually coming back together with a new lineup (only featuring original members Giuffria and Christian) in 1992 with "Demon's Down". This was a more melodic record which saw the big contribution at the songwriting helm - between others - of Mark Baker, a guy who penned a couple of years before the majority of the Signal “Loud and Clear” album, one of the most sought after gems of the Melodic Rock genre.With the change of the musical climate, House of Lords went into hibernation until the original lineup came back together in 2000, releasing of the controversial “Power and the Myth” an album which featured a sound leaning more towards Progressive Hard Rock with 70’s rock influences.After a short European tour, singer James Christian decided to go back to the trademark Arena Rock sound of House Of Lords, putting together a new line-up with the blessing of founding member Gregg Giuffria, who opted out right before the release of “Power and the Myth”. New members Jimi Bell on guitars, B.J. Zampa on drums supplied a true powerhouse sound to the fifth studio album “World Upside Down”, a record which caused a real stir in the Hard Rock and Melodic Rock scene and was followed up by the equally impressive “Come to My Kingdom” in 2008.House of Lords toured relentlessly Europe and the States in support to the releases and have now become a true staple between the Hard Rock crowd among the two continents. Needing a more fresh impact in the songwriting, James decided to team again with Mark Baker for the new album entitled “Cartesian Dreams”. The record is just what you can expect and even more: superb hooks, majestic atmospheres that bring back the memories of the debut album, monumental guitar riffs and a production to die for. Everything in “Cartesian Dreams” shines from the first second to the last!Fast forward to September 2011 which will mark the release of the newest addition to a stellar catalogue of songs. BIG MONEY, is well, ‘BIG’. The album starts with the trademark vocals of James Christian and crashes into a Power Rock Classic that you will not forget after the first listen, followed by in a song that Christian describes “as the band’s best work to date”: “One Man Down”. Each song has its own distinct quality as you would expect from The Lords and once again the album is full of soaring choruses, awesome guitar work and songs that grab you from the first listen and don’t let go. James teamed up again on the songwriting with long-time friend and partner Mark Baker along with the other band memmbers Jimi Bell and BJ Zampa.
Taking a look the really good remastered releases of classic albums done by Axe Killer Records (now re-branded Bad Reputation) here's one that deserve attention: HOUSE OF LORDS second album "Sahara", including a bonus track.HOUSE OF LORDS three first albums are masterpieces in classic Melodic Hard rock / AOR, each one different from each other. While the first is a pompous gem, the third is their 'mature', most elaborated and complete album.And in between we have this "Sahara", the more 'easy' to the ears of the 3, but equally superb in songwriting, performances and the one with 'that' huge, glossy production style from 1990 courtesy of legend Andy Johns.For this 2nd album, original guitarist Lanny Cordola was gone, and in was new guy Michael Guy. Although Guy is credited on guitar, in reality the album was recorded with Doug Aldrich (future Whitesnake axe man).The impressive keyboard work of Gregg Giuffria is still here, Chuck Wright's monster bass lines and Ken Mary's precise drums, alongside mastermind James Christian on lead vocals.“Shoot” opens with an atmospheric keyboard arrangement by Gregg Giuffria, and then explodes into a huge rocker, some kinf of a mix between Kingdom Come and 21 Guns. Chains of Love” is Coverdale-lite, with singer James Christian pouring on as much sass as possible. Aldrich laid down a killer guitar solo as well.Then there's the cover “Can’t Find My Way Home” (Blind Faith original) which House Of Lords makes their own with a terrific crescendo tempo from acoustic to full on band. One of the better rock ballads of 1990, and one of the best HOL tracks ever.House of Lords turn a serious corner on “Heart on the Line”, which sounds like a title for a ballad. This however is a speed racer, a chugging riff powering a rock-corker, which turns Cheap Trick on the chorus. Unsurprisingly, it was written by Rick Neilsen. Brilliant playing and soloing on this one (by Nielsen himself). And yes, before you ask, the track abruptly ends.Then in 'Laydown Staydown' they turn melodic rock very much in the Winger style of the era with its anthemic chorus and keyboard fills.Title track is really impressive, with a quite long intro where Giuffria shines and we have Ken Mary layering a tribal drum effect that would have been very ahead of its time in 1990. Then the song goes for melodic rock something more Winger-like as well, but it jumps from that back into more progressive sections, keeping things balanced and interesting.Next there's another ballad, and a superb one called “It Ain’t Love”. Not just the title, but the main chorus reminds of Dokken. Some fine soloing resides here to sink your fangs into.“Remember My Name” is the other cover song on the album, and chosen as lead single: a power ballad in its maximum, both in its classy midtempo and sound. Killer stuff.Then arrives one of the 'inside cuts', which for me os one of the best on the album; “American Babylon” is a hot guitar driven rocker with biting riffs and a fantastic chorus.“Kiss of Fire” nails it with the knockout punch at the end, a blazing smoker with powerful keyboards and guitar swirls that remind us of Mr. Big. Hot!The bonus track on this Axe Killer reissue is the radio version of 'Can't Find My Way Home', not only edited but also remixed, different.Indeed, HOUSE OF LORDS' "Sahara" is polished, bright, a shining melodic hard rock diamond plenty of punchy but crystal clear songs.This out of print Axe Killer remaster adds the right depth for modern audio players, dynamic, vital in its output.
James Christian – lead vocals, additional guitars
Gregg Giuffria – keyboards, backing vocals
Michael Guy – guitars, backing vocals
Chuck Wright – bass, backing vocals
Ken Mary – drums, percussion
Doug Aldrich (Lion, Whitesnake) – guitars, backing vocals
Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) – lead guitar, backing vocals on 4
Chris Impellitteri – opening guitar solo on 6
Mandy Meyer – guitar
Mike Tramp (White Lion) – backing vocals
Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) – backing vocals on 4
David Glen Eisley (Giuffria) – backing vocals
Steve Plunkett (Autograph) – backing vocals
Ron Keel (Keel) – backing vocals
Steve Isham – backing vocals
S.S. Priest – backing vocals
Billy Dior – backing vocals
Robbie Snow – backing vocals
01. Shoot [05:01]
02. Chains Of Love [03:23]
03. Can't Find My Way Home [04:54]
04. Heart OnTthe Line [04:10]
05. Laydown Staydown [03:55]
06. Sahara [05:38]
07. It Ain't Love [04:07]
08. Remember My Name [04:58]
09. American Babylon [04:24]
10. Kiss Of Fire [03:23]
11. Can't Find My Way Home (Short Cut Version) [03:56] (Bonus Track)
+ Video "Remember My Name" (Official Video)
+ Video "Can't Find My Way Home" (Official Video)
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