The Robot Lords of Tokyo have returned to deliver their third album of ten-ton riffage and whiskey-fueled vocals, available on CD and download January 15th, 2013. Entitled Virtue & Vice, the record features numerous guest six-stringers, including Chris Poland (Megadeth), Tracy G (Dio), Wayne Findlay (Michael Schenker Group) and Steve Theado (American Dog). Production duties were once again handled by Joe Viers (Bobaflex, No Sky Today), with mastering by Rickard Bengsston (Opeth, Arch Enemy)
The Robot Lords are the brainchild of Ohio-based songwriting duo Rick Ritzler (drums, guitar) and Paul Jones (vocals, guitar), who came up with the idea for the guest-laden project in 2006 and have since released two critically acclaimed albums on their own RLOT Records. Renowned metal scribe Martin Popoff called their 2009 sophomore effort, Whiskey, Blood & Napalm, “the best indie I’ve heard in a decade. Like an ass kickin’ Black Label Society crossed with The Sword, it’s a masterpiece of bludgeoning perfection and it will knock you on your ass.” His colleague Bob Nalbandian of Shockwaves/HardRadio called Jones “one of the most powerful new vocalists in metal today”, while Classic Rock Magazine named WB&N one of their Top 50 Albums of 2009.
For Virtue & Vice, Ritzler and Jones have once again teamed up with producer Viers to cook up their unique combination of classic metal riffing, stoner/doom grooves and southern swagger, sprinkled with just the right amount of shredding lead guitar pyrotechnics. In addition to the record’s nine new sonic sledgehammers, the Robots have once again reworked an obscure classic from the hard rock vaults, this time tackling the title track from Cinderella’s 1986 debut, Night Songs.
Kelly Keeling from the bands Baton Rouge and MSG handles the vocals on all tracks with the exception of the song, ‘Gladrags & Limozenes” which features another former MSG front man, Robin McAuley.
On this disc you also have appearances by George Lynch (Dokken), and Chris Poland (Megadeth). This is a short CD, only clocking in at 28 minutes in length. It is a very good 28 minutes, and well worth your time.
I have always liked Kelly Keeling’s vocals, and he sounds great here. The disc starts off with the title track, “Long Live Me“. This song is a very cool rocker that has a pretty impressive solo by Gus G. from Firewind.
George Lynch provides the guitar solos on “Halo”, and funny enough, this sounds just like a Lynch Mob song, albeit a very good one.
On the tune “Evil” , Screamin’ Lords guitarist Jason Gile proves to have some pretty impressive guitar chops himself.
Former Megadeth axeman Chris Poland dishes out the guitar solos on “Fire In The Blue Sky”. This is easily my favorite song on “Long Live Me”. It is good to hear Poland playing again, and although his part on this album is minimal, his guitar work is excellent.
Remember the classic Fastway tune “Say What You Will“? The Screamin’ Lords cover it here, and do a good job with it. Their version is very true to the original song.
Robin McAuley takes over the lead vocals on “Gladrags & Limozenes” This is a cool upbeat tune, and one of the highlights on this CD.
Although this disc is short, it is good. Hopefully with CD #2 the guests will be fewer so the true talent of The Screamin’ Lords can shine.
The Screamin Lords are:
Jose Ferro – Bassist
Dustin Boyer – Guitar
Jason Gile – Guitar
Chris Collier – Drummer
Kelly Keeling (TSO, MSG, Baton Rouge) – Vocals
Robin McAuley (Survivor, MSG) – Lead Vocals
George Lynch (Lynch Mob, Dokken, Souls of We)- Lead Guitar
Chris Poland (Ohm, Megadeth)- Lead Guitar
Gus G. (Firewind, Dream Evil) – Lead Guitar
Loren Molinare (Little Caesar) – Rhythm Guitar
This band has been assembled by Jose Ferro, a previous member of AOR heroes Agentz. Their one-off beauty ‘Stick To Your Guns’ still remains a compulsory addition to melodic rockers collections. However, The Screamin’ Lords are a far cry from the 80’s era of Agentz, Jose preferring to leave history at the doorstep for a more riff orientated classic hard rock sound. For an eight-tracker, this album is 100% switched on. No time or room for soppy ballads, just head-on rock n roll. Taking riffs out of the yesteryear songbooks, you’ll feel right at home if classic rock a la Judas Priest, AC/DC, Aerosmith and Ted Nugent is your bag. KELLY KEELING of MSG / BATON ROUGE fame handles the lead vocals on 7 tracks, while ROBIN MCAULEY takes his spot at the remaining tune “Gladrags & Limozenes”. Highly recommened for classic hard rock fans !