Album review: PRIDE OF LIONS – Fearless


Frontiers [Release Date 27.01.17]

They come less frequently these days, with a five year gap between each of the last two albums, but a Pride of Lions album is always worth the wait, marking the return of veteran master songwriter Jim Peterik to the melodic rock style with which he enjoyed his greatest days with Survivor.

Despite the odd different touch, such as the violin intro reminiscent of Kansas to opening song ‘All I Want is You’, all the PoL trademarks are there- the lovingly crafted orchestration, melodic hooks,  and the contrast as Jim’s sonorous baritone usually opens up the songs before the powerful, soaring tones of Toby Hitchcock take over.

‘The Turn’ took me a while to appreciate but has a statelier, bluesier feel that reminded me of the first three Foreigner albums. ‘In Caricature’  has massive melodic hooks and ‘Silent Music’ a fine vocal performance by Toby, but both are let down by what I thought were some rather tortuous lyrical metaphors.

As it progresses the album covers a wide range of styles, with the title track rockier with an urgent pace and some rapid fire soloing from Mike Aquino, only to be followed by the cloying sentimentality of ‘Everlasting Love’, exemplifying the show tune side of the Peterik songwriting school that can divide melodic rock fans.

‘Freedom of the Night’ was reminding me of Survivor even before I noticed the credits dedicate it to Jimi Jamison, while Toby is the sole vocalist on ‘Rising Up’ and ‘The Silence Says it All’, both of which are more straight ahead rockers  which could have been outtakes from his ‘Mercury’s Down’ album collaboration with Erik Martensson.

While ‘The Light in Your Eyes’ is a touch derivative, managing both to start with the lyric ‘I Can’t Fight This Feeling One Moment More’ and have the same musical vibe as ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’, the song almost defines AOR, as does ‘Faster than a Prayer’ where the hook-filled chorus is pure Peterik. Unfortunately so is closer ‘Unmasking the Mystery’ which again plays to the schmaltzier side of his songwriting.

All in all, not all songs hit the mark, certainly not in comparison to earlier PoL classics like their debut or ‘The Roaring of Dreams’. But if, like me, you still hanker after old-fashioned values of good melodic arrangements and lovingly crafted songs, it’s an album to return to again and again.  ****

Review by Andy Nathan

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 August 2021.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 PETER H.NILSSON Sign Of Myself (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 M.ILL.ION Back On Track (AOR Heaven)
14:00-16:00 THREE COLOURS DARK Love’s Lost Property (Firefly Music)

Power Plays w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

MASON HILL Broken Son (7Hz Productions)
FERAL GHOST The Chosen Few (indie)
THE CROOKS Better Days (Golden Robot)
KRIS BARRAS BAND Dead Horses (Mascot)
SHADER Blackholes (indie)
ANYTHING BUT HUMAN Tonight (indie)

Popular (last 30 days)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), ALL POSTS and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply