Being the forefathers of the New Wave of British Heavy
Metal movement, little did the band know at the time that
albums would like 'Denim and Leather' and Wheels of Steel'
would ring throughout the world of metal for decades creating
timeless heavy music that still endures today. Several albums
into their career, lineup changes, record company switchovers,
and lawsuits, Biff Byford and Co. are still at the pinnacle
of all things hard and driving with their latest release 'Lionheart.'
Very much in the spirit of both 'Killing Ground' and 'Metalhead,'
'Lionheart' is their most sophisticated and gut wrenching
record to date, really exposing the wall of amplifiers and
pulsating drums to the point if absolute maximum endurance
that explodes with maximum orgasmic balls to the wall rock
and roll, with no letting up on the blistering crunch that
the band provides; and at the helm of it all is Byford's vocal
presence that is hard to beat.
But nevertheless, the album drives with hook laden guitar
riffs that pertain to the equal amounts of moodiness, emotion,
and metallic assault, which is nothing less than we would
expect from these guys. Typical straight ahead cuts such as
"Man and Machine," the ultra upbeat anthem "To Live By the
Sword," the opening rocker "Witchfinder General," and the
riff laden "English Man O' War" are the tracks that have the
"raise your fist in the air" and "bang your head" factor written
all over them. They do find more subdued moments with both
the dark but yet churning "Searching for Atlantis" and "Beyond
the Grave," so these guys know when to say when it comes tom
placing the material in the right context.
With 'Lionheart,' you can really hear an influence that
they had not only on the typical metal heavyweights, but also
on bands such as Rage, Running Wild, and Helstar, proof that
their eminence is immeasurable.
The album has also undergone a special edition makeover
with not only high definition 96k/24bit sound, but also in
a 5.1 mix on the DVD, really brining out the audiophile quality
on this record, for which it was recorded with the marriage
of both tape and hard drive, making for a much more powerful
sound coming out of the speakers. Regardless of what version
you have, play at maximum volume.