It’s been nine years since Appointment with Death; nine years filled with teasing – oh a mega anniversary tour, then another, and then Starwood’s second album in the works, yadda yadda yadda…
Liz! If you don’t deliver this time, I’ll sneak onto the next plane to California and re-enact some of your stage shows with you as the victim!
Why I am so excited: it’s Lizzy. Lizzy is threatening to be back in the studio. Despite the name, Liz is a guy – and one of those precious few male singers (and songwriters) whom I am totally obsessed with. Most people have no idea who he is, and it’s customary to think of a thousand comparisons to describe what his music and voice is like… I will not.
Lizzy Borden is Lizzy Borden, and his work stands on its own perfectly well. He’s the unsung hero, an underground legend, and one of the most amazing metal voices of all time. One of the most “lyrical” voices of metal – bright, sonorous and effortlessly comfortable in high tessituras; if he were in opera, he’d probably be a leggiero tenor, and he has those rich warm lows leggieros often have, too – at the same time, capable of the most unbridled aggression. He’s not all about showing off his pipes, though; emotion takes center stage with Lizzy, which is quite rare in someone of that vocal caliber (but it’s exactly why I’m obsessed, right?).
Lizzy Borden’s music is “cinematic metal” – a blend of film noir and horror; bombastic, pointedly melodic, mixing elements of sympho/power with oldschool hard rock, topping it all with decidedly Gothic lyrics (“Love Kills” – now that’s the way a perfect love song should be titled!) and a flashy stage show that isn’t that necessary since the music is great on its own, but it’s a nice touch nevertheless.
Actually, there’s much more to Lizzy’s lyrics than just a thousand ways love can go terminally wrong – and he’s known to use quite unorthodox rhymes at times.
2007 marked the release of “Appointment with Death”. The LP that came before that – “Deal with the Devil” – had been released in 2000. Even if we count the 2004 Starwood record (which was amazing, but not metal)… You see… sometimes, being a perfectionist is a crime. This much talent shouldn’t be hidden.
Check out just a few shades of Lizzy Borden.
A mellow ballad from the 1992 “Master of Disguise” record.
A recent live version of a heavy-hitting 1986 track written from the POV of Julius Caesar. Possibly Lizzy’s scariest costume ever (that mask got me bad, and I’m fairly resilient).
A live version of one of my all-time favourite tracks from the 2000 “Deal with the Devil” record (again, the title says it all).
And a studio version of another favourite track off the same 2000 LP.
I’d post a couple favourite Starwood tracks for comparison – which is clearly the same songwriting, just a few notches punkier, and sung in a bit more “rock-oriented” style – but youtube isn’t being helpful in that regard anymore.