Pride Of Lions
2017 release from Frontiers Records srl.
Toby Hitchcock – Vocals. Jim Peterik – Vocals, guitar, keyboard. Mike Aquino – Guitar. Klem Hayes – Bass. Ed Breckenfeld – Drums. Christian Cullen – Keyboard.
Artist location: Various parts of the USA.
4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- All I See Is You.
- The Tell.
- In Caricature.
- Silent Music.
- Everlasting Love.
- Freedom Of The Night.
- The Light In Your Eyes.
- Rising Up.
- The Silence Says It All.
- Faster Than A Prayer.
- Unmasking The Mystery.
The powerhouse duo known as Pride Of Lions is back with studio album number five and if you have enjoyed the previous records from these guys then you are in for a real treat with this one as it stands as their ultimate album in my opinion.
This project started back in 2003 when the great Jim Peterik (Survivor, The Ides Of March, Peterik/Scherer) recruited a young and unknown, to me at least, singer by the name of Toby Hitchcock and formed a band to make an album that would be a modern approach to music steeped in the melodic rock sound of the 1980’s. The result of course was the tremendous self-titled debut album that gave us such outstanding songs as ‘Interrupted Melody‘ and ‘Last Safe Place‘, which happen to be two of my favorite songs from the band to this day.
That first album catapulted Hitchcock to instant stardom within the melodic rock circles, and rightfully so. With his clear, powerful voice, Toby is one of the finest vocalists we have and one that very few in the genre can rival in sheer strength, and he is one that we most certainly do not hear enough from.
The following year, in 2004, we got ‘The Destiny Stone‘, then ‘The Roaring Of Dreams‘ in 2007 and ‘Immortal‘ in 2012, all containing some excellent tracks and the same strong vocals and big melodies that the debut gave us and making Pride Of Lions one of the most anticipated releases whenever news came that they were working on a new record.
Well the five year wait is finally over and the newest record is here and trust me, it was well worth the wait!
This album is nothing different from the first four records sound wise. Peterik did not go traipsing off in some new direction or try to do something out of character for the band’s sound here. This is exactly what you have come to expect to hear from Pride Of Lions, and that is certainly not a negative.
In my opinion this is the strongest record as a whole that we have gotten from these guys yet, and that is really saying something when you go back and listen to the other albums they have put out and some of the outstanding songs we have been gifted with over the years.
Peterik is a prolific songwriter, as we are all more than aware, and somehow, even after all of these years, he is still somehow able to bring us song after song that are just as strong as anything he has written. From Survivor (The Ides Of March were a little too early for me), Pride Of Lions and Peterik/Scherer to his solo material and his work with a plethora of artists and bands, Jim has always impressed me with his writing ability and the seemingly endless amount of incredible music he is able to continuously put out. It is truly astonishing. He is also a very accomplished musician on multiple instruments and a terrific singer and this new record is just further proof that this amazing man is far from being out of new music. Thank God! Keep on bringing us that music, Jim.
Add to Peterik’s considerable talents the phenomenal voice of Toby Hitchcock and what more could one ask for out of melodic rock?
Toby is just an outstanding singer, what else can you say about the man. I absolutely love listening to this guy sing, what an incredible voice! His work with Pride Of Lions showcase his vocal abilities perfectly and his first solo record, 2011’s ‘Mercury’s Down‘, is a near masterpiece, written by one of the best “newer” writers this genre has seen in many years, Erik Martensson (Eclipse, Ammunition, W.E.T.). I said it just a few minutes ago, but we do not hear nearly enough from Toby.
The voices of Peterik and Hitchcock are a combination that just match perfectly, as anyone that has ever heard a record from these guys knows, and, as stated, this new record is the best thing they have done together to date. They sound absolutely fantastic here.
From the opening song, ‘All I See Is You‘, to ‘Faster Than A Prayer‘, the album is just a pure pleasure to listen to, and with the exception of the final track ‘Unmasking The Mystery‘, whose melody in the chorus I am just not crazy about, the record is a perfect one that gets absolutely nothing wrong. Terrific rockers to beautiful ballads, the album is absolutely spectacular.
Note to artists wanting to make a great AOR record, this is exactly how it is done!
If you have heard Pride Of Lions before then you already know exactly what to expect with this new album, big melodies and huge, harmonizing vocals from two amazing singers. They don’t drift from the usual formula we are used to from them, they only tweak it and take it to the next level, making it even better.
If you have not heard them before then this album comes from the same brilliant pen that gave us songs such as ‘Eye Of The Tiger‘ and, what I personally consider to be on of the most beautiful ballads of the genre (and my favorite vocal performance by the late, incomparable, Jimi Jamison), ‘Man Against The World‘ and that should tell you all you need to know.
Save the final track, this album is absolute perfection. There is nothing that I would change about it. Two amazing artists have yet again delivered an incredible record of some fantastic melodic rock music that should satisfy any fan.
The band may not be up everyone’s alley, but anyone that likes some outstanding AOR music, Survivor or anything that Peterik or Hitchcock have done then do not even hesitate to pick this one up. You will not be disappointed.
Very highly recommended.
‘All I See Is You’.
‘The Light In Your Eyes’.
‘The Silence Says It All’.