Pride Of Lions give us some superlative tracks, mixed in with some above average efforts, regardless it puts ‘Roaring Of Dreams’ immediately into the 2007 Top Ten.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Pride Of Lions
ALBUM: Roaring Of Dreams
SERIAL: FRCD 323
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Toby Hitchcock – vocals * Jim Peterik – vocals, guitars, keyboards * Mike Aquino – guitars * Christian Cullen – keyboards * Klem Hayes – bass * Ed Breckenfeld – drums * Thom Griffin, Tori Hitchcock – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Heaven Of Earth * 02 Book Of Life * 03 Love’s Eternal Flame * 04 Language Of The Heart * 05 Let Me You Go * 06 Faithful Heart * 07 Defying Gravity * 08 Roaring Of Dreams * 09 Secret Of The Way * 10 Astonish You * 11 Tall Ships * 12 Turnaround
WEBLINKS: Site Link
I have to eat my words. At the start of the year, I declared I wouldn’t review anything from the Frontiers label. My stance, was based on an over-saturation of their product in the dwindling AOR market, their coverage from every other ‘web-rag’ out there – particularly in Europe, and also their arrogance in releasing sub-standard rubbish such as Avalon and the godawful Zion -that surely raised its ire with me.
However, they then go and release this little beauty from perhaps the benchmark of current-day AOR – Pride Of Lions. Some people love this band, others less so. I am in the former category. With Jim Peterik they have one of the foremost songwriters in the genre. With Toby Hitchcock, they have one of the rising stars of AOR vocal-dom. Both bring talent to the table and the results speak for themselves.
This is album number 4 for POL, counting their live DVD from a few months back. I liked their debut a lot, the second album ‘The Destiny Stone’ is also good, but this new one ‘Roaring Of Dreams’ is a different beast altogether. Perhaps harder, and with an aggressive edge on some tunes, which replicates Peterik’s time with Survivor during their successful mid 80’s run.
You won’t be short-changed with this platter, in fact by the end of this hour long excursion, you’ll be saying ‘mmm – that was good, lets play it again.’
Let’s go for the jugular. The tunes which do it for me are the pairing of ‘The Secret Of The Way’, with its Frankie Sullivan sounding guitar work a la ‘When Seconds Count’ era, then there’s the exquisite ‘Astonish You’ – a song you could play to your beloved and reap the benefits thereafter. The vibrant and upbeat ‘Tall Ships’ is another great example of Peterik’s unique brand of songwriting – the use of nautical terms very clever indeed.
‘Defying Gravity’ is equally upbeat, this one could be an excellent live track I reckon. It’s AOR Central with the track ‘Let Me Let You Go’ – you could a pick a thousand reference points on this one. Survivor revisited is the best way to describe ‘Language Of The Heart’, again the ‘Vital Signs’ and ‘When Seconds Count’ era is the best comparison.
The same could be said for the mid-tempo splendour of ‘Love’s Eternal Flame’, but the coup de grace is the seven minute wonder of ‘Turnaround’. Just the mere title will have you thinking Bonnie Tyler and in a way – the vocal arrangement is kinda similar. Kudos to brother and sister Toby and Tori Hitchcock for blitzing the shared vocals on this one. Power and passion combined. Wow!
Some superlative tracks, mixed in with some above average efforts puts ‘Roaring Of Dreams’ immediately into the 2007 Top Ten. Where do these guys go from here? Admittedly the AOR scene is pretty much nonexistent at the moment so it’s not as if they have much in the way of competition. Still, the flag is being flown but who in the industry is actually watching is a moot point.
The other point is: when will Frontiers show some consistency with their output? Until I feel another 9 or 10 rated album comes along from Frontiers will I open the doors again like I have with Pride Of Lions. Until then, let normal transmission resume which is, switch off.