Type: CD Company: Black Dragon Release: 1985 Genre: Power Reviewer: Guest Published: 5/15/2003
Wild and violent, majestic and immense
Longtime metal fans may remember a time in the mid 80’s when ‘Power Metal’ signified something dangerous and new in music. I was in my early teens at the time and I spent every dollar I made from my paper-route, buying all the latest releases. Iron Maiden were my Gods (they still are), and the Power Metal scene that was developing at made me insane with metallic frenzy. I bought a tape copy of Freedom’s Rise and it blew me away. It is one of my favorites to this day.
Highly influenced by Maiden and Priest, the “Freedom’s Rise” is a lost classic. Their early signature sound was characterized by complex drum patterns of Frank Cortese, the chaotic and furious riffing of Tony Truglio and Pete McCarthy and the punchy bass lines of Matt Vinci. Their singer, Andy Michaud, had a unique vocal style, alternating between mid range power-shouting like Matt Barlow at his most intense, punctuated with Ian Gillanesque Banshee screams. Speaking of Matt Barlow, Iced Earth have cited Liege Lord as an important influence.
Overall, what makes Liege Lord so effective is the contrast they develop in their music as bass, drum, guitar and vocal lines grapple with each-other like a musical counterpart of war. The resulting sound is wild and violent, majestic and immense, a perfect complement to their brilliant and ambitious lyrical explorations of epic themes. Occupying a similar soundworld to Omen “Battle Call”, Savage Grace “Master of Disguise”, Manowar “Hail to England”, and Manilla Road “Mystification”, Liege Lord are classic blood-thirsty Power Metal at its most epic, direct and forceful. The brilliant artwork of Eric Larnoy completes this package in perfect style.
To gain an insight into the heady nascent years of Power Metal’s inception, check out the 2000 re-release of this classic through Old Metal Records or find an old copy of this classic on vinyl.
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