Record Reviews

Album review: Ross the Boss “Legacy of Blood, Fire & Steel”

A vinyl-only compilation of the best of Ross the Boss.

Ross “The Boss” Friedman is an American metal and punk legend. Having made a name for himself in punk with The Dictators, he left New York for Paris to join Shakin’ Street. When Shakin’ Street toured as the opening act on Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” tour, Ronnie James Dio introduced Ross to Joey DeMaio. The two then went on to form Manowar. Ross established Manowar as a major heavy metal act from 1980 until 1988 when he left the band. He then spent time playing in several bands, including a reunion of The Dictators, until he revisited his Manowar past. In 2005, he reunited with Manowar for a one-off performance. The year after, he performed a set of Manowar songs at the Keep It True Festival in Germany. That eventually evolved into the band Ross the Boss. In the following years, he did some reunion gigs with several of his old bands, including The Dictators, Shakin’ Street and Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom, while at the same time releasing albums with Ross the Boss. “Legacy of Blood, Fire & Steel” is being released exclusively on vinyl and contains the best tracks from the albums “New Metal Leader”, “Hailstorm”, “By Blood Sworn” and “Born of Fire”. We get modern but classic-sounding songs such as “We Will Kill”, “Kingdom Arise”, “This Is Vengeance”, “We Are the Night” and, my personal favourite, “I Got the Right”. Musically, Ross the Boss has carried on in the same style as he did on the early Manowar albums. Ross the Boss plays proper, classic heavy metal. It is the kind of quality metal at a level that Manowar did back in the day but can no longer reach. Lucky us that Ross can still deliver. The combination of the songwriting and guitar skills of Ross and the vocals of the band’s current lead singer Marc Lopes is what makes the newer songs great. The rhythm section of Mike LePond (bass) and Steve Bolognese (drums) provides the rock-hard foundation that lets Ross and Marc do their thing without worrying about the ground they stand on. The vinyl has been put together in chronological order, starting with “Blood of Knives” from 2008 and finishing with “Denied by the Cross” from 2020.

Ross The Boss’ compilation “Legacy of Blood, Fire & Steel” will be released on vinyl only on 28th April via AFM Records.