|Review: Ross The Boss - Hailstorm|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: November 18, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
I snickered when I was offered the new Ross the Boss album to review. I mean, how necessary is this solo effort. The man has proven himself in Manowar for years, a band that has stood by their sound for decades, barely flinching. So how different was this actually going to sound? Was there even a point in releasing it? Well, the answer is "no, not really." Frankly, this album was made just for the sake of making it. On the other hand, that's not really a problem. This is a collection of songs that do sound like Manowar, but they have more flair to them. Hell, singer Patrick Fuchs (of Ivory Night) sounds like he's attempting an Eric Adams impression many times on Hailstorm. He isn't better than Adams, by any means. But he doesn't overpower the music in the way he does.
Despite its lack of originality – in fact, despite its borderline apery, Hailstorm certainly has its moments of sheer old school metal ballsiness. I doubt that many Manowar fans will really care that the album sounds like a Manowar album, as so many traditional metal bands sound so similar nowadays. Songs like "Dead Man's Curve" carry the power and energy that this music needs, while songs like "Burn Alive" carry the fun-loving, carefree attitude it necessitates. The album's innate energy tapers off towards the end as songs like "Crom" and "Among the Ruins" are nothing more than drivel attempting to pander to an already well-formed audience. While the second half is on the whole lackluster, it still pumps forth with the same tried and true formula that Manowar have used on their albums for almost thirty years. For that reason, it shouldn't be too much of a problem for this album's intended audience.
Ross the Boss is not one of metal's most legendary musicians. Nor is he a celebrated instrumentalist within his band. I'm still left a bit quizzical as to why he even has a solo project. But alas, I shouldn't question an album with a few great songs that carry the spirit of heavy metal with them.
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