Lions Pride Music is a new label based in Denmark and their mission statement is to bring back some of the lost voices to the AOR / Melodic Rock scene. A new label is always to be welcomed especially in these difficult times for the music business. The first release on the label is a sampler that dips into the past and also offers something new entitled ‘Elements Of Frictions’ and it will be released December 15th 2014 on CD and Digital formats.
The album opens strongly with, I assume, a taster for the second Marcello/Vestry album ‘When You Grow Up’ and it’s a cracker with singer Frank Vestry (Laneslide / Last Temptation) in fine voice while Rob Marcello (Danger Danger) delivers a terrific solo on a fine slab of chorus driven melodic rock. Next up is Area 51 fronted by Matti Alfonzetti (Jagged Edge / Bam Bam Boys / Solo) who are a Swedish all-star act with members of Bad Habit, Great King Rat, Treat, Talisman etc. The track ‘Little One’ should go down well with fans of the aforementioned bands, Alfonzetti is still a great singer and the keys have that Europe / Deep Purple / Rainbow feel that is a staple of Swedish acts. Emma Varg is next up on the Alfonzetti penned ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ light poppy AOR ala Robin Beck which is strange because Emma Varg markets herself as a Metal singer?
Fans of European / Scandi hard rock will be happy with the talent on show that includes Snakes In Paradise, Mats Leven (Malmsteen, Treat, and Swedish Erotica) and ex Transit frontman Oliver Fehr while it’s always good to hear the light airy vocals of Frontline singer Stephen Kammerer who presents us with the smooth AOR of ‘All About You’ which might point to a belated release for his shelved solo album.
Elsewhere as with all samplers, it’s a mixed bag which will depend on your musical taste to cherry pick the bits you enjoy. With this is mind the leaden demo quality hard rock of ‘Pieces Of The Action’ from Mark Evans is a million miles away from the classic sounds of the debut Heaven’s Edge album despite the efforts of Reggie Wu. On the positive side it’s great to hear Rich Cox who used to front Sic Vikki performing the feel good and catchy ‘Let Me Down Easy’ and likewise Larry Baud of Red Dawn / Network / USA fame who deserves better than the brittle recording quality of this Matti Alfonzetti tune. The Paul Laine track ‘Another Me’ is a little on the bizarre side as it’s a power pop / alt-rock song with an occasional prog rock guitar hook seemingly left over from a YES album. Ex 21 Guns singer Tommy La Verdi offers up ‘Somebody Up There’ which has a monster riff and, I believe, was originally written for Ozzy (and recorded by Street Legal) with the Zack Wylde influenced guitars making this a little scary if you prefer pink and fluffy. Trixter fans will, no doubt, want to check out the less than essential ‘To The Limit’ but to be totally honest I never really got Trixter but I know many do.
All things being equal this is a decent first shot from Lions Pride and they are to be applauded for putting this out. The big question is what next? In the meantime I’m going to play that Marcello / Vestry track again.
Previews of tracks from the album are available over at the official Lions Pride site.