PRIDE OF LIONS – Lion Heart (2020)
PRIDE OF LIONS, the revered melodic rock band featuring the legendary ‘Eye of The Tiger’ songwriter and The Ides Of March member Jim Peterik together with powerhouse vocalist Toby Hitchcock, are back with their fabulous sixth studio album, “Lion Heart”.
Peterik has never lost his verve for melodic rock & AOR, a style of music he inarguably helped forge. Pride Of Lions showcases everything that you should love about the genre on this new album: powerful soaring vocals, thanks to Toby Hitchcock, and unforgettable melodies. And the new songs and performances truly show what a “lion heart” Peterik still is.
The Peterik-Hitchcock combination is a match made in AOR heaven. Both are exceptional vocalists, and Peterik is a gifted songwriter. The two live and breathe classic melodic hard rock, and surround themselves with a talented cast of supporting musicians.
Pride Of Lions has all the characteristics we love in classic rock: strong melodies, tight vocal harmony, lively rock rhythm and groove, spirited guitar solos, and memorable radio-friendly refrains.
Indeed, if this were the Eighties, this album and the songs would find their way to FM radio and arenas across the land.
From the start, the AOR magic begins with the groove and positive lyrical inspiration of the catchy title track ‘Lion Heart’, which features Peterik’s son Colin on drums. A tribute to our first responders comes with ‘Heart Of The Warrior’, which offers a proper and enthusiastic mix of synths, rock rhythm, lead vocal harmony, and a terrific refrain.
With ‘You’re Not A Prisoner’, Pride Of Lions adds some hard rock edge to their sound with stronger riffs and a beefy rhythm section, without sacrificing song melody and harmony. And the guitar solo kills.
With ‘Unfinished Heart’, Hitchcock and Peterik revisit that staple of classic Eighties rock: the rising anthemic power ballad, complete with an epic guitar solo.
But I think my favorite song of the album is easily ‘Rock And Roll Boom Town’. Part history lesson and part mid-tempo AOR ballad, Pride Of Lions tells the tale of the rise and fall of classic Eighties rock scene from Hollywood to the Sunset Strip to the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, using the same musical medium that made the era and area famous. After all, Peterik lived through of it.
There’s no doubt here: ”Lion Heart” is another album of exceptional and entertaining AOR / Melodic hard rock from two masters: Jim Peterik and Toby Hitchcock.
One of ‘the’ albums of the year.
01. Lion Heart
02. We Play For Free
03. Heart Of The Warrior
04. Carry Me Back
05. Sleeping With A Memory
06. Good Thing Gone
07. Unfinished Heart
08. Give It Away
10. Rock & Roll Boomtown
11. You’re Not A Prisoner
Toby Hitchcock – Vocals
Jim Peterik – Vocals, keyboards, guitar, percussion
Ed Breckenfeld – Drums and percussion
Klem Hayes – Bass
Mike Aquino – Lead and rhythm guitar
Christian Mathew Cullen – Synths & programming
Colin Peterik – Drums on ‘Lion Heart’
Kevin Campbell – Bass on ‘Lion Heart’