So, once more we have to wait five years for another album from Pride Of Lions, the creation of singer, composer, and producer Jim Peterik with vocalist Toby Hitchcock. I'm sure Peterik has been busy these last years. He's had time to dye his hair purple and do impersonations of Geddy Lee, from whom he was separated at birth. Check out the similarities between chins, and those glasses.
All kidding around aside. The five years was worth the wait. Once more, with Fearless Peterik, Hitchcock, and company deliver a fine, maybe slightly uneven, package of AOR melodic hard rock which reverberates with the best years of this classic genre. Echoes of Survivor to Toto to REO Speedwagon weave familiar and pleasing lines. But the core essentials of Pride Of Lions' music is self-evident: simply superior songwriting that turns on infectious melodies, bold vocal harmonies, hooks from arrangements to refrains, and masterful musicianship. Every song swells with these things, making Fearless a pleasure.
Yet, I need to explain that small phrase, "maybe slightly uneven," you may have noticed. Don't get me wrong, taken as a whole this is a powerful album, worth the fives I gave it. I thought it started well with the AOR epicness of All I See Is You (listen for the violin within), but then tumbled a bit with The Tell and In Caricature, songs that did not grip me as much. (I'm sure they'll eventually persuade me.) But fortunes are reserved with Silent Music, with a touch of saxophone. Then gears shift even higher with the motivational rocker and title cut, Fearless. Easily one of Peterik's best songs, it roars with life and enthusiasm. Pretty fandamntastic. And, as Tom Cruise said in A Few Good Men, the hits just keep coming. To the end, I felt Pride Of Lions did not falter in the least. Another rocker with crisp riffage comes with Rising Up, a Survivor-like ballad with Everlasting Love, more inspirational AOR with Faster Than A Prayer and the closing Unmasking The Mystery, vocals soaring. Then I wondered what the two would sound like with live orchestration. Probably even more awesome. Throughout you'll find delightful piano lines and an abundance of thrilling guitar solos. Indeed, Pride Of Lions' Fearless is pure and powerful AOR melodic rock magic, and easily recommended. Get it.
Indeed, Pride Of Lions' Fearless is pure and powerful AOR melodic rock magic, and easily recommended. Get it.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]