guitarist and co-founder, Ross “The Boss” Friedman, has returned with a
second album of highly calculated power metal with his band of the same
name. Backed by a one-time German MANOWAR tribute band, the group continues
where they left off on their debut, New Metal Leader.
Hailstorm, the band still has some great anthemic choruses and pounding
beats. Ross certainly can still shred on the guitar, as he displays on
frequent solos. Ross still has that distinctive guitar sound that he first
articulated in the late ’70s with New York punk band the DICTATORS and then
Manowar-isms pop up all over Hailstorm. You just can’t get away from
something that was so embedded in your past. But Friedman is definitely not
trying to mimic MANOWAR on purpose, but the glorious spirit of heavy metal
is in his blood.
explore some good German power metal territory with its soaring guitar
leads, precise drumming, catchy, anthemic choruses and melodic song
structures. The band is more self-assured on their second release. Song
writing contributions from the rest of the band has established themselves
as important members of the band and not just Ross’ hired hands.
instrumental “I.A.G.” starts with Spanish flamenco guitars, sounding like
something straight out of an Antonio Banderas movie. It then segues into
‘Kingdom Arise” with a crushing riff reminescent of MANOWAR. Right away,
you’ll notice the commanding vocals of Patrick Fuchs. His powerful delivery
and precision falsettos makes him one of the most underrated and unknown
power metal singers in the game today.
A bit of
glam and ’80s sleaze rock is displayed on “Burn Alive.” It starts with a
great riff and melodic harmonies. The chorus is so damn catchy, you won’t be
able to contain yourself by chanting along. “Crom” continues with the same
catchy melodic vocal harmonies. In fact, every song has a great hook that
reels you into their infectious melody. The majestic instrumental “Great
Gods Glorious” shows that Ross still has the knack for melodic guitar leads.
liked New Metal Leader, you’ll definitely like this release.