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Lionsheart - 'Lionsheart' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/40/0e/73/lionsheart-lionsheart-11-1523645973.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 13, 2018    
 
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Thoroughly entertaining, and at times simply mind-blowingly awesome.

Formed by twins Mark and Steve Owers alongside former Grim Reaper vocalist Steve Grimmett, 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. On songs like 'World Of Pain' and 'Stealer' it is actually pretty embarrassing, 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.

The frustrating thing is that there are three songs clustered in the middle of the album that 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 Neo-Classical guitarists a run for their money.

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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 Danze Macabre.

For fans of 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.

Bruce Mee

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