Swedish rock band Dead Lord return with their fourth epic album, Surrender, and bring to the table all the strengths that make them imminently listenable and loveable. Yes, you get those fantastic Thin Lizzy guitar harmonies, the rocking riffs, and the fantastic 70s rock vibe that is their foundation. Ten songs, forty minutes, pure rock n’ roll bliss. But there’s more…
While this album is full of rippers, including opener “Distance Over Time,” “Authority” (which reverberates like a back-alley knife-fight just about to spring to life), “Bridges” (another rumble of trouble, dirty and underworldly), and “Gonna Get Me,” all of which rock out in a way that makes you want to boogie while you bang your head, it’s the other tracks, the ones with a more melancholic feel, that really stand out here. “Letter From Allen St.” is a very sad song, full of wistful loss and a plea for help from a soul lost in darkness, the song of a man with a broken heart and nowhere to go but down. Similarly, “Dark End of the Rainbow” is a tale of innocence lost, of youth still chasing a dream that may already be dead. And then there’s “The Loner’s Ways,” which might as well be the anthem for those locked up and shut in due to the Covid pandemic. Hanging on by a thread, doing what they tell you to do, carrying on despite the despair and stress, hoping for a better outcome in the future. It’s songs like these that add a much needed nuance to the buoyance of the music and the sheer joy you can feel from the fleeting fingers flying over the fretboards. Everything here is melodic and breezy, and yet there is that undercurrent of danger and desperation the eats at the edges of certain songs, and consumes others whole. Dead Lord really stretches out a bit with this new one, embracing more darkness to contrast with the light.
If you like 70s rock and in particular great guitar work (because let’s not kid ourselves, they slay it on guitar), bass that adds layers to a song rather than just plodding along, energetic rock drumming, and expressive, melodic vocals, you can’t go wrong with the new Dead Lord. I think it’s the best album they’ve made, and that’s saying something, because the other records are damn fine, too. On this one, they have matured a bit, and all that enthusiasm is leavened with a world-weary sense of encroaching age and the limits of time. Get on board, the rock express is pulling out.
Three Buckets of Blood out of Four
Kelly is the author of dozens of stories and dozens of reviews. He likes to write, he likes to read, he likes going to the movies, and he loves to laugh. He hails from the wilds of Kentucky and if you'd like to see more of his work, check out his website: www.kellymhudson.comor on Amazon