LIONSHEART – Lionsheart [remastered] (2016)
Few years ago was silently released this remastered version of British rockers LIONSHEART first album “Lionsheart”, a great slice of traditional hard rock in a sound & style that many mention as ‘the record Whitesnake should have been putting out after their 1987 album’.
Formed by ex- Grim Reaper vocalist Steve Grimmett alongside twins Mark and Steve Owers (guitar, bass), Lionsheart’s debut album came out in 1992 but could well have been released in 1988 as the songs are pretty much written to the Whitesnake template. And we have here some awesome songs very good playing, believe me.
And you can tell the Whitesnake comparison on songs like ‘World Of Pain’ and ‘Stealer’, as it also is when Grimmett croons “baby, baby, baby” in his most deliciously comparable David Coverdale tones.
At other times, there’s a distinct DIO flavour, as with the consecutive songs ‘Ready Or Not’ and ‘So Cold’, the latter which would easily have fitted on the Rainbow debut.
But there’s more, much more: perhaps the best songs on the CD appear at the middle of the album, which are simply quite awesome: ‘Can’t Believe’, despite ripping off Whitesnake’s ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’ at the beginning, mutates into a superb Melodic Rocker with a chorus right out of Jack Ponti’s top drawer.
‘Living In A Fantasy’ is unlike anything else on the album; pure Fifth Angel with drums and guitars in a frantic race to the finishing line.
However, it’s the six-minute plus massive epic ‘Portrait’ that is the album’s piece-de-resistance; atmospheric opening and stabbing orchestral strings followed by riffing and squealing torn straight from Dokken’s prime years. Grimmett is simply immense here, whilst Mark Owers gives all those ‘famous’ guitarists a run for their money.
If only record company politics and personal issues hadn’t ripped the band apart after this, who knows what delights we would have been served.
As it was, Grimmett carried on the Lionsheart name for several more releases before branching out on his own, while the Owers brothers dropped out of sight before resurfacing briefly in 2009 with The Pyschics but are now dipping their toes back into the music scene with the female fronted goth act Danze Macabre.
For fans of classic-era Whitesnake, Rainbow and Dio this is a must buy. Derivative in places, sure, but never less than thoroughly entertaining, and at times simply mind-blowingly awesome.
The sound quality of this remaster is great and more than welcomed, ‘cos the original CD had a pretty low output signal. A box set including the five Lionsheart albums appeared, but these are NOT remastered, nor this debut “Lionsheart”.
Only at 0dayrox
01 – Had Enough
02 – World of Pain
03 – Ready or Not
04 – So Cold
05 – Can’t Believe
06 – Portrait
07 – Living in a Fantasy
08 – Stealer
09 – All I Need
10 – Have Mercy
11 – Going Down
12 – Good Enough
Steve Grimmett – vocals
Mark Owers – guitars
Steve Owers – bass
Graham Collett – keyboards
Anthony Christmas – drums