Pride Of Lions Fearless cd review
2017 kicks off with an album ready to blow any New Year cobwebs away as Pride Of Lions release their fifth cd Fearless on Frontiers Records Srl out on the 27th of January.
It has been 5 long years since their last cd Immortal and we can only rejoice as Jim Peterik returns with the quite outstanding Toby Hitchcock on vocals with 12 tracks of melodic rock heaven that will be at the top of many 2017 best of lists and the year is only a few days old.
Jim states in the press release “We are always trying to top ourselves this time I went back and listened closely to all the previous cds to hear the strongest assets of each record: what was working and what could be improved. I went into writing the fearless material keeping that in mind. I feel it sticks closer to the template we set with our first cd, yet goes to new places musically"
It doesn't need to reinvent the wheel it is top quality melodic rock played with such a passion for the music and melodies that 99% of bands would die for and I haven't stopped smiling since I heard it for the first time prior to Christmas.
The 2 main men are backed by Ed Breckenfeld - drums,Klem Hayes - bass,Mike Aquino - guitar,Christian Cullen - keyboards and the album sounds a million dollars with a wonderful production that lets the melodies breathe and sounds rich and full.
As you would expect from any Jim Peterik penned opus it is a mix of rockers and ballads although pleasingly none fall into the slow category and keep upbeat.
In fact there are couple of surprises thrown in and take Fearless to pastures new.
All I See Is You throws a Kansas style fiddle played by Andrew Ohlrich into the song with Jim taking the lead vocal on the first verse before Toby comes in on the first chorus with the first of many superb choruses and wonderful backing vocals too and Mike Aquino's short and precise guitar solo hits the mark too.
The Tell again has Jim taking the first verse with a mid tempo number which has bubbling bass at its heart and keys giving it a real depth and lots of guitar melody soloing through out the song and the chorus really breaks out from humble beginnings as the song develops with Toby really letting his vocal range do the talking so to speak.
In Caricature and Silent Music see Toby in a sole lead vocal with the former an upbeat rocker and the latter all about the voice as Toby shows a tone and pitch that are stunning with a slight drop in pace but only adding to the quality.
The title track had me checking it was Pride Of Lions as the initial guitar riff is the heaviest the band have ever had and then into double bass drumming before a huge huge chorus with all the band joining in and taking the song to new heights but still melodies a plenty.
Everlasting Love is simply a world class ballad that has you pressing play time and again.Toby is incredible with a vocal performance that will be the bench mark for this year and any other with a passion and delivery that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention.
Freedom Of The Night sees a shared Jim and Toby vocal that builds up to the first chorus with that being the song highlight.
The Light In Your Eyes is a ballad started with just Toby and a piano before the band all kick at the first chorus on a number that you feel you have heard before but when it is played with such conviction and love for the art of song writing it soars ever higher on Toby's majestic vocal delivery.
Rising Up starts on a drum and big guitar riff and is pure heavy AOR for today's rock radio.
The Silence Of It All and Faster Than A Prayer keep the standard high before Unmasking The Mystery ends the album on a as all excellent album's should with a 5 minute epic that has all of the Pride Of Lions qualities with superb shared vocals,big chorus and a just so lengthy guitar solo under Toby's vocal in the outro.
Pride Of Lions return is long overdue and they have produced an album of consummate beauty which only builds on their legacy.