Metalville Records [Release date 31.07.20]
Lionheart’s second album since returning in 2016 and big expectations from this reviewer as their 2017 release ‘Second Nature’ was a classy piece of melodic hard rock.
Lionheart have done it again, quite possibly pipping ‘Second Nature’ due to the fact they have some excellent melodic rockers like ‘All I Want Is You’ and ‘Thine Is The Kingdom’. Both utilise the band’s powerful backing vocals to great effect, bit like the famous Uriah Heep choir on that band’s albums. Also vocalist Lee Small, who has never sounded better, is a real plus for the band. Still reminds you of Glenn Hughes at times (less the histrionics!).
‘High Plains Drifter’ is a proper toe tapper of a tune, one for playing loud on your stereo, whilst ‘Kingdom Of The East’ pays homage to Japan and their fanatical fans, who kept many a rock band going during the leaner years of the 90’s.
‘Behind The Wall’ is a big production ballad – not only a chance for Lee Small to shine, but it also highlights the keys/arrangements/production of Steve Mann, a key ingredient to the album’s sound and appeal. Another good example of this is ‘Still It Rains On Planet Earth (Lacrimosa)’, complete with a spoken word intro that sounds like Jeremy Irons, but most probably isn’t!
Lionheart veer between the lighter end of metal and the heavier end of melodic rock/AOR, to great effect. This is one of 2020’s best releases and a sure fire contender for many a year end best of. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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