ROBOT LORDS OF TOKYO - VIRTUE & VICE (Independent)
(Review by Stefan)
A couple of days ago I had the honour to receive the brand new, 3rd album of Ohio based Robot Lords Of Tokyo. It’s good to have these heavyweight rockers among us, still bringing their stuff hard and mean to the bone – “Virtue & Vice” will be one of most attractive Doom/Heavy/Stoner efforts of 2013! Guys kicked out RLOT out of the ground named Rick Ritzler (drums/guitars) and Paul Jones (Vocals/guitars) are back in business, ready to dig in with brand new songs, actually works which giving me the same feel like a ten ton hammer against my head. I’m warn you people, “Virtue & Vice” is a really hard one!
At Metal To Infinity we were truly pleased with the band’s sophomore piece “Whiskey, Blood & Napalm” (2009) – it was our first touch with them and damn right, totally convinced we were back then. The new output has been produced once again by Joe Viers – the mastering duties were in hands of Richard Bengtsson (Arch Enemy, Opeth). This time they called on a few guest guitarists, actually six string specialists to me deliver me one hell of a fantastic time while serving their skills with a lot of technical moves… fans of shred guitar tactics be served very well! Guitar wizards in charge with a lethal dose of shredding highlights are: Steve Theado (American Dog), Chris Poland (Megadeth), Michael Findlay (MSG) and Tracy G. (Dio).
Robot Lords Of Tokyo proves with “Virtue & Vice” once again a true form of loyalty to their own style, basically a mixture of Classic/Stoner Rock,Sludge/Doom… groovy as hell, played with a die-hard Southern feel! Maybe you should think that the album has nothing to deliver to the world of Metal but in that case I can tell you’re totally wrong. As a Metal maniac myself and while listening to the flood of all the magnificent guitar riffs and leads… this is what metal is all about to me. Agree, most of the riffs are groovy oriented but watch out for the razorsharp leads of glimmering steel, able to cut real deep.
As I hear singer Paul Jones delivering his vocal duties, I tend to think he’s still hooked on the whiskey bottle. I mean nothing wrong with that, Paul’s way of singing is just outstanding and has a wide accessibility. This is the original voice of a seasoned, well-respected singer – a natural born rocker who knows what he’s able too. In the end, both original RLOT members Rick Ritzler and Paul Jones are true brothers who walk for each other through flame and fire when needed. That’s the right spirit to me.
Southern/Stoner rockers better be prepared for a first strike that comes along with opener ‘Hell Will Have To Wait’. The right tone will immediately put with an ironbound set of groovy riffs followed by a stunning solo. Due to the Mighty strong vocals and awesome, doomy structures I’d like to musically compare with early Black Sabbath. First shot, first killing is done! More heavyweight riffs bring the best of the best up above within a song called ‘Two In The Belly (One In Head)’. What a great tempo change halfway to gone featuring brilliant guitar moves… and still, the vocals keep on going on determined and powerful to the core. Hell yeah, ‘Great Escape’ starts to rumble and I nearly got a cardiac arrest because of the superb guitars at the beginning. The band keeps on surprising me in a positive manner. ‘Night Moves’ is a cover from the very beginning of Cinderella (1986). Classic Hard Rock addicts, ‘Chicken Little’ is yours, enjoy with full force’! To me, Robot Lords Of Tokyo saved the best for last, ‘Through Perdition’s Flames’ has a running time of 9 minutes and is so beautiful worked out… a real masterpiece this one surely is. Featuring fully Hard Roc/Metal oriented guitar moves and great vocals plus a beautiful rhythm chance in the middle. Be prepared for the loads of awesome guitar shreds those who know how to demand my complete attention. Once again, a very good composition I will bow for!
I already had a great appreciation for this band since their previous album – now that I’ve heard their new effort “Virtue & Vice”, my way of dignity is still further increased. They kept on to their own traditional style which I can only praise, based on the songs and production… I don’t have to use much words to express my feelings – Robot Lords Of Tokyo just released their best album so far! A true masterpiece for defenders of groovy riff/outstanding, shred laden killer guitar works thrilled to the sound of bands like Texas Hippie Coalition, old Black Sabbath/Mountain, American Motherload, Thunderbrew, Zakk Wylde & Black Label Society, Fatal Smile, Hellyeah, Pride and Glory and stuff. Check ‘em out at their Facebook or official homepage at: http://www.robotlordsoftokyo.com/ Order “Virtue & Vice” directly via CDBaby
My Points: 95 / 100