I was hoping for so much more from this album from British Lion, sadly it didn’t get anywhere close to critical levels on the Glory Daze wowometer.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: British Lion
ALBUM: The Burning
LABEL: Parlophone, EM1 Explorer Music
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Richard Taylor – vocals * Steve Harris – bass, keyboards * Simon Dawson – drums * David Hawkins – guitars * Graeme Leslie – guitars
TRACK LISTING: 01 City Of Fallen Angels * 02 The Burning * 03 Father Lucifer * 04 Elysium * 05 Lightning * 06 Last Chance * 07 Legend * 08 Spit Fire * 09 Land Of The Perfect People * 10 Bible Black * 11 Native Son
WEBLINKS: Site Link
This is the London based band British Lion of whom we’ve written about previously. They have a connection to Iron Maiden, in particular bass player and main songwriter Steve Harris, who championed the band back in their earlier days and has now joined them full time.
In 2012, the band were called Steve Harris’ British Lion, which I thought was very contrived as the band were known as British Lion long before Harris took an interest, as their demos from the early 90’s attested to. Now they are back to their original handle and this is how it should be.
Of that 2012 effort which Alun reviewed (click tag below), I wasn’t a big fan of the album, and nor was Alun. Having heard those aforementioned demos, which were brilliant by the way, I was hoping that some of that material would reappear, but ‘Eyes Of The Young’ was the only one that turned up that was half decent. Eight years on, the band return for Round 2 with ‘The Burning’. Let’s see what they’ve delivered second time around.
Leading off with ‘City Of Fallen Angels’, the sound is stark, containing a thumping rhythm section. Taylor is holding all the vocal responsibility; there’s not a lot of melodies to prop the song up, while the guitar solo is pretty good.
Skipping through quickly for a brief prelude of each song before writing them up, I was largely discouraged by what I heard. ‘The Burning’ was too light to be considered heavy metal and did not contain sufficient melodies and a harmonic quotient to be considered melodic rock nor AOR.
‘The Burning’ is the title track, the rhythm section taking us out for a morning gallop. ‘Elysium’ was a change up styled track, with a prog like mid-section, but never fear prog fans, your territory is never threatened.
‘Lightning’ took almost a minute to kick into gear, and once it got there didn’t do enough to hold the attention. Next up is the part-ballad ‘Last Chance’ which at 6 minutes long was too drawn out to contemplate listening all the way through. Much better was ‘Legend’, played in the style of an anthem.
Toward the back end of the album, ‘Bible Black’ sounded like an interesting proposition, with a fast intro but the initial promise died off soon after, while the mostly acoustic ‘Native Son’ was a scene changer, and all the better for it. Ironic that one of the albums better moments was at the end.
I was hoping for so much more from this album, sadly it didn’t get anywhere close to critical levels on the Glory Daze wowometer. The songs were average from my viewpoint and as mentioned, I felt there wasn’t enough melodic elements.
Things like multiple contrasting vocal choruses, prominent keyboards even – could’ve added something significant to the album, but to no avail. Maybe the new FM (UK) album will improve things for London’s hard rock stocks in 2020?
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