Liege Lord - Master Control

Liege Lord - Master Control

\r\nIn mid of 80’s there was a small, independent French company, called Black Dragon Records, which had in their roster a lot of groups, mainly from America, which belonged to the Epic- Power Metal genre. Some of them were MANILA ROAD, SAVAGE GRACE and LIEGE LORD. The last ones released their debut in 1985 entitled Freedom’ s Rise and had made enough fuzz. \r\n

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\r\nPersonally I was left incurious, because the group seemed to be incohesive, voluble and the singer Andy Michaud wasn’t really good. In any case they managed to sign a contract with Metal Blade and in 1987 they released Burn To My Touch. Despite the fact that the group had been improved enough and the new guitarist Paul Nelson had brought air of freshness the album did not have to show us something in particular. \r\n

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\r\nIt was obvious that Liege Lord should have taken drastic movements in order to escape from the mediocrity and they managed to do it with the best way. The arrival of singer Joseph Comeau and the undertaking of production of their forthcoming album in the hands of Terry "guarantee" Date were the movements that gave them many advantages and in 1988 they released their third album, Master Control. \r\n

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\r\nIf I could compare the album with something then this would be a hurricane that destroys everything in his passage. Really STORMY Power-Speed Metal, that in certain points reaches in the limits of precocious American Thrash, with the group accelerating almost in each track, the guitarists Tony Truglio and Paul Nelson are in great form, while in the same situation (and… worst !!) are Matt Vinci and Frank Cortese in bass guitar and drums. \r\n

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\r\nA nice surprise was also, the new singer Joseph Comeau, who –without being the great voice of the decade- manages entirely his role, because his voice in loud, expressive and suits the best with the style of the band. Of course congratulations should be given to Terry Date, for his awesome production, showing everyone for another time his abilities and how important it is the role of the person who sits beside the console. \r\n

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\r\nIf you have any cervical problem, or you are not sure if your stereo system holds up intense processes, don’t even think about pressing the play button. It seems like this album, is made in order to reach people and machines beyond their limits. Don’t de cheated from the epic but melodic intro of the exceptional Fear Itself. It’s the calm before the storm… The Thrash passage comes to give you the first warning. Then, the rhythm continuously changes from speed to mid- tempo in the refrain, alterations which you will meet almost in every track. \r\n

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\r\nSomething same happens also with the impressive Eye Of The Storm. Many melodic riffs and mid-tempo rhythm, all these until the middle of the song…a little pause, a effect of thunders and then….the typhoon "Master Control", starts to blow and with the speed metal it tries to take your head…don’t try to resist…there is no possibility to achieve this….just leave yourself alone and enjoy!! \r\n

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\r\nThe storm continues with undiminished intensity with the homonym track piece of the album. Flat out from beginning to end Master Control is one from my favourite that I firstly bring in my brain when I think about this release. Then we have a exceptional cover in Kill The King of RAINBOW and I imagine Blackmore born… pimples, hearing Liege Lord "playing" his masterpiece! You see, his antipathy towards the particular type of music is well known…so…courage Ritchie… as courage you should show, because the group continues brutally to you and also your speakers, with the Soldier’ s Fortune. \r\n

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\r\nFeel The Blade that follows is the only entirely mid tempo track of the album, but the lack of speed comes to compensate from the riffs of Truglio- Nelson and the Cortese drums. In the same level is also Broken Wasteland, however the truth is that it sounds very depressive, something that does not happen with Rapture, which –if the vocals were more brutal- then we would speak for an original Trash metal song. \r\n

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\r\nSuspicion is also a speed song, but with more classic metal style and with many IRON MAIDEN influences, while the impressive Fallout, which closes the album, is a great mix of  Epic, Power, Speed and Thrash, showing to everyone the improvement of the band. \r\n

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\r\nI am sure that many promising groups were lost ingloriously, because they did not have the chance to collaborate with the suitable person, the one that would manage to pull out the best of their abilities. Liege Lord had the luck by their side and under the guidance of Terry Date released one of the best – according to my opinion- Power- Speed Metal albums of the 80’s. Unfortunately the group threw in the basket waste their opportunity to achieve much more things, as they became inactive next years and finally they decided to split-up, realising that the classic metal sound, became old-fashioned and it was replaced by other forms of "art" such as Grunge and Death Metal…However, you should not miss the opportunity to buy Master Control, a really fantastic album, that overflows from force and speed. Adjust volume and… knock your self out!!! \r\n

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\r\nAntonis Alexandropoulos \r\n

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\r\nTranslated by: Manos Maragos \r\n

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