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.