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Lionheart - Second Nature album review

The best Melodic Rock you can get this month

Cover art for Lionheart - Second Nature album

Lionheart formed in 1980, and their first six years were plagued by line-up instability and record label ineptitude, and also the misguided assumption that they were just another dodgy heavy metal band. But Lionheart were weaned on classic North American hard rock, and the keyboard touches of guitarist Steve Mann sweetened the mix with delicious pomp.

Second Nature reintroduces the British band, reborn last year after an absence of three decades. Linchpins Dennis Stratton (formerly with Iron Maiden), Mann, bassist Rocky Newton and drummer Clive Edwards are fronted by Lee Small (Shy/ Phenomena/Skyscraper), who reins in his sometimes all-too-obvious Glenn Hughes influence to fit their sound like a glove.

The album is a seamless mix of old yet unreleased gems and five tunes written since the reunion, while the band add their own fingerprints to Chris De Burgh’s Don’t Pay The Ferryman, and Every Boy In Town previously recorded by NWOBHM cult heroes Taurus. The sound is lush and crisp, the hooks enticing and deep, the band’s quality unmistakable.

The Lion roars again.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.