CD Review: House of Lords – Cartesian Dreams

House of Lords - Cartesian DreamsFor the most part House of Lords will be remembered as the first band to record for Simmons Records, the 90s label founded by KISS bassist Gene Simmons. But the band has much much more to offer than that, as the new CD Cartesian Dreams proves.

Sounding heavier, grittier and a bit darker than usual, the new House of Lords is a pleasant surprise. Right out of the gate, the title track rips through like a band on a vengeance. James Christian’s vocals are powerful and have found the perfect musical mix to complement them.

The new music sounds a bit like Dream Theatre (even the cover looks a bit like Dream Theatre's Images and Words), but without the constant tempo changes, and it definitely doesn’t go the distance into the metal realm. It’s powerful hard rock with keyboards used to enhance and not control the sound.

Born To Be Your Baby is a power track with depth, while Sweet September is a suitable ballad for the album. Bangin’ is a straight ahead rocker that brings out the cowbell for a sound reminiscent of classic Bad Company.

Most of Cartesian Dreams sounds like it would be out of place on most House of Lords albums – maybe that’s due to the disappearance of founder Greg Giuffria. It’s obvious that House of Lords at this point is a James Christian project, but that’s not a bad thing – it's a natural progression.

All-in-all, Cartesian Dreams sounds like the release House of Lords should have put out back in the early 90s.