21.9.12

Steve Harris - British Lion (2012)

Months ago Steve Harris of metal's greatest band on Earth, Iron Maiden, announced his ever solo album to public. The project titled with a widely published cover art is known as "British Lion". Fans are rejoice to expect something different , according to Steve Harris, something that can not be done with the Maidens-fellow. What Steve didn't warned is the style of the music, which is in total hard rock genre. Simply saying, the album that full streamed yesterday, is true far from what Steve Harris done in Iron Maiden. The questions is, will the album went well into the Iron Maiden fans' tastes?

In the first track, This Is My God, we directly introduced to a thick hardrock feel, a rather alternative rock actually. The whammy bass and guitar is cool. Surely we need to adjust the expectation after a few minutes. Because obviously, this is just Steve Harris having fun together with his childhood dudes. Positively, we know that Steve did not abusive his power and money in hiring ultra technical musicians to form a supergroup. But, instead rely on provided resources along his friend. Richard Taylor taking up the microphone is perhaps the only thing we need to adapt now. Guitars playing are also simple and no solos until far in the middle of the album. Lost Worlds has the powerful bass line, again the song is hardrock with falsetto singing all over. Although produced by world class master, Kevin Shirley (Dream Theater, Rush, Iron Maiden), a rather unusual balancing of bass, vocal and rest of instrument seems notable. Move to Us Against the World, the song actually grow into more interesting progress. Us Against the World actually has that Iron Maiden tune for a second, nice song writing and for a while the vocal of Richard Taylor fit well in this track, plus, the guitars solos are there. The Chosen Ones starts with thick 80s arena intro, a more happier feel for the first time in the album. A World Without Heaven is an ambitious seven minutes epic hard rock with some touch up in the interlude and solos.

Then we have a nice up beat metal song like Judas, except for a not so well interlude break that fell the song almost in a second. Eyes of the Young is really country-hard rock feel of the 80s. And the last track, The Lesson is there to end this album in mixed feeling.

British Lion sure has that wide palettes of music that good in replay value. We completely lost Steve Harris of Iron Maiden here, which can be a positive point. As a fans of IM and Steve, my very humble (and amateur) inputs are, the songs mostly didn't polished to the last best form. Each song provide a very challenging song writing that beg to have a more killer execution, a killer riff and guitar solos, and drumming. The singing is perhaps the biggest thing to struggling here. Imagine a song like The Chosen Ones sings by charismatic Michael Kiske, or Eyes of the Young by... say.. the 80s heroes like Jon Bon Jovi? I might be dreaming day here... But that's how I feel about it. Last thing, if you fans of bass playing, the whole album will give you an happy hour, whether just listening or jam together. Most of songs are very bass-line supremacy. That's British Lion, the cover art is solid rocking though!

Metalharem class: ******* seven stars out of ten

Steve Harris - British Lion (2012)
buy it here @ Amazon

1. "This is my God"   4:57
2. "Lost Worlds"   4:58
3. "Karma Killer"   5:29
4. "Us Against the World"  4:12
5. "The Chosen Ones"   6:27
6. "A World without Heaven"  7:02
7. "Judas"   4:58
8. "Eyes of the Young"  5:25
9. "These are the Hands" 4:28
10. "The Lesson"   4:15
Total length: 52:11

Personnel
Steve Harris - bass
Richard Taylor - lead vocals
David Hawkins - guitar, keyboards
Grahame Leslie - guitar
Simon Dawson - drums
Richard Cook - drums on tracks 1, 3 and 7.
Production
Kevin Shirley - mixing

A solid metal artwork for the cover album:


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