LIONVILLE – So Close To Heaven (2022) HQ
Classic AORsters LIONVILLE are back with a new album, “So Close To Heaven“, another slice of sweet melodies to die for. Over the course of their previous four albums, Lionville have come to be held in extremely high regard by fans of Melodic Rock/AOR and “So Close To Heaven” further cements the band’s standing as one of the premiere acts of the genre.
Two special highlights, among many, on “So Close To Heaven” include a duet between vocalist Lars Safsund and revered melodic rock singer Robbie LaBlanc on the track ‘This Time’ and the band’s cover of Richard Marx’s ‘Arrow Through My Heart’. The latter track was written by Richard Marx, Bruce Gaitsch, and Fee Waybill during the sessions of Marx’s hit album “Repeat Offender”.
Lionville was started in 2010 by Stefano Lionetti, a songwriter, singer and guitarist based in Genova, Italy and his brother Alessandro. Thanks to the incredible songs they had managed to write, they got none other than Lars Säfsund (Work Of Art, Enbound) involved as the lead vocalist, which was a true coup for the brothers.
After two indie releases, in 2017 Lionville signed with Frontiers, who gave the band’s releases larger support, distribution, and thus brought them to a new audience of melodic rock fans. Since signing with Frontiers, Lionville has released two highly praised albums, “A World Of Fools” and “Magic Is Alive”, and in the process, has become one of the most well-respected acts dedicated to pure AOR on the label’s roster.
The record opens with “This Time” featuring a wonderful duet between guest Robbie Le Blanc & Säfsund, an electrifying melodic tune full of magic. “Cross My Heart” is pure Melodic Hard Rock, then follower “The World is On Fire” is another melodic diamond that makes you want to sing-along with Lars’s voice. The choruses and the perfect chemistry between the piano & Lionetti’s guitars turns this one a winner.
“Can’t Live Without Your Love” is great ballad in the Lionville style, before the punchy AOR of “True Believer” gets your blood pumping. The melodic “We Are One” puts a big smile on your face (great lead vocals), the the rocking side appears again with the racing “Only the Brave”, while midtempo AOR is the essence of “I’ll be Waiting Tonight”.
Next Lionville does a version of Richard Marx’s “Arrow Through My Heart”, giving the song a melodic breeze via sumptuous keyboards and Säfsund’s pristine voice. A great one.
They end this terrific CD with title track “So Close to Heaven”, a song in a pure Lionville style: swirling melodies and harmonies all around and heavenly choruses.
“So Close To Heaven” showcases the band’s ongoing winning combination of strong songwriting, stellar musicianship, and of course magnificent lead vocals. Lionville is simply one of the best AOR bands out there.
A must hear for all AOR/Melodic Rock fans.
01 – This Time
02 – Cross My Heart
03 – The World is on Fire
04 – Can’t Live Without Your Love
05 – True Believer
06 – We Are One
07 – Only the Brave
08 – Angel Without Wings
09 – I’ll Be Waiting Tonight
10 – Arrow Through My Heart
11 – So Close to Heaven
Stefano Lionetti – Guitars, Backing vocals, Keyboards
Lars Säfsund – Lead & Backing vocals
Michele Cusato – Guitars
Fabrizio Caria – Piano & Keyboards
Giulio Dagnino – Bass
Martino Malacrida – Drums