“‘Dying To Live Again’ is the opening track on our new album and it is a song of hope,” states Tony Hernando, the guitarist for Spanish metal act Lords Of Black. “In these difficult times we’re living in, it’s very important to reflect on what we are, what we want to be and where we are headed, not only as individuals, but as a society and humanity as a whole. It is okay to feel confusion, fear and uncertainty, but we must be aware of what’s at stake right now because this might be a turning point in history. I just hope the outcome is not only that we’ll beat this pandemic, but we’ll still stand and fight for the right reasons, celebrating liberty and the joy of life…we’re definitely DYING TO LIVE AGAIN!”
Lords Of Black was formed via an artistic union between Hernando and his fellow countryman Ronnie Romero (also of Rainbow and Vandenberg). Their new album, ‘Alchemy Of Souls – Part I’, is the group’s fourth, and, while its songwriting displays a love of the legendary artists and albums that formed the blueprint for their chosen genre, it also incorporates modernity into its overall sound. The record is also a reunion of sorts as Romero took a hiatus from the band during 2019, during which time Hernando auditioned new singers and even appeared live with a line-up that featured Diego Valdes (Dream Child) and Dino Jelusick (Animal Drive). Meanwhile, he also continued to create new music that would push him past the boundaries of anything the band had previously achieved. Eventually, he sent the material he was working on to Romero and such was its quality that the singer immediately decided that he wanted to be part of it and returned to the fold. The completed album presents a rejuvenated and inspired Lords Of Black.
The group’s primary aim upon forming in 2014 was to blend a modern metal approach with catchy, melodic and progressive elements, which could be heard on an acclaimed self-titled debut released that year which was promoted with a series of live shows that included several high profile special guest slots. The legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore became aware of Romero and invited him to front his newly reformed Rainbow, which in turn brought Lords Of Black to the attention of an international music media intrigued by Blackmore describing Romero’s voice as “a cross between Ronnie James Dio and Freddie Mercury.”
While enjoying this new found attention, Romero and Hernando continued work on Lords Of Black and signed a worldwide deal with the Frontiers label. The first release from this partnership was ‘II’, a modern melodic metal masterpiece that created a huge buzz. Like their debut, it was co-produced, mixed and mastered by Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween) and is regarded as a genre classic. Following a short European tour to promote it, they headed straight back into the studio to record its follow up, ‘Icons Of The New Days’, which raised the bar further with its mixture of epic tracks and glorious power/progressive metal songs.
‘Alchemy Of Souls – Part I’ somehow manages to best its predecessors in setting a new gold standard and is simply an unmissable album for fans of acts such as Masterplan and legends of the genre like Queensrÿche, DIO and Savatage. An absolute delight for the ears, it is truly another classic in the group’s genre.
1 Dying To Live Again
2 Into The Black
3 Deliverance Lost
5 Brightest Star
6 Closer To Your Fall
7 Shadows Kill Twice
8 Disease In Disguise
9 Tides Of Blood
10 Alchemy Of Souls
11 You Came To Me (Piano Version)