Friday, March 8, 2013

Robot Lords of Tokyo - (2013) Virtue & Vice

Entitled Virtue and Vice, the record features numerous 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 Rick Bengtsson (Opeth, Arch Enemy).

The Robot Lords are the brainchild of Ohio-based songwtriting 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 sophmore effort, Whisky, 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 yoour 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 the 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. -press release-

First of all, the huge KISS fan in me appreciates the goofy looking take on the classic Love Gun album cover, and shows right off the git-go these guys don't take themselves too seriously. I can always go for a little comedy with my rock. With song titles like "Chicken Little" and "Two in the Belly (One in the Head)" you get even more of that vibe.

Although, the tongue in cheek vibe ends with the content displayed on Virtue & Vice. With serious riffs and vocal intensity, this album is a metalhead's wet dream. Especially if you're an old fogie like me, and can actually remember when that Cinderella album came out (and still own it on vinyl). To hear a fresh take on a song that I used to rock out to in my bedroom as a kid, is really cool. Also displaying that The Robots aren't afraid to let their roots show a bit. A bunch of guest appearances by some fairly big names in rock and metal, showing off their chops on a few tracks is pretty impressive too. Taking cues from the 80's and giving it a well deserved kick in the ass is what The Robot Lords are all about. 

If you consider Black Label Society, Corrosion of Conformity and Down among some of your favorite bands, add The Robot Lords of Tokyo to that list. This is another great album from the guys, and a must have for 2013. Compact disc for sale at CDbaby.

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