Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Pride of Lions “Immortal”

Melodic rock/AOR

For the unaware, the dynamic duo behind Pride Of Lions is the legendary melodic rocker Jim Peterik (Survivor, Ides of March) and young gun vocalist Toby Hitchcock. Together they have released a trio of modern melodic rock albums that are destined to become classics in the genre. “Immortal” marks their return after a five year break that allowed the guys to work on other projects. In the words of Peterik, “After producing and writing the songs for Jimi Jamison’s wonderful 2009 release, Crossroads Moments (reviewed here), I needed a minute or two to get me juices back flowing in the direction of writing a great new Pride Of Lions record. When Toby decided to do his solo album (reviewed here), this was the perfect time for reflection. Once I started writing, the flood gates just opened up. I feel this is the CD to put Pride of Lions on the map once and for all.”

As with previous efforts, “Immortal” is filled with energetic anthems, mid-tempo rockers, and monster ballads. The mix of pace and style does not detract from the Pride of Lions signature sound, but provides a great dynamic when listening to the album from start to finish. The baritone vocals of Peterik balance well against the theatrical vocals of Hitchcock, who is likely to draw comparisons to the great Dennis DeYoung (Styx).

There are many songs one could shine the spotlight on, including the dazzling first single, “Delusional”, which is basically a healthy dose of child-rearing advice about not dosing our children with drugs just because they want to be unique. Similarly, “Ask Me Yesterday” ponders the wisdom that is found in youth, often in hindsight. On the power ballad side, “Everything Money Can’t Buy” and “Sending My Love” really shine here. “Sending My Love” features a particularly poignant vocal performance from Hitchcock, as the song truly connects with him: “Being a new father, it gets more and more heartbreaking to be away from my loved ones on the road. I love the road, don’t get me wrong, but it’s tough being separated from them as well.” Of particular interest to Survivor fans will be the track “Vital Signs” – this was a tune being worked on for the blockbuster release of the same name back in the 80s. Peterik never quite finished it until now, and I think most people will agree it was worth the wait.

Whether or not to add “Immortal” to your Pride of Lions collection is a no brainer – and if you were a fan of Survivor, Journey, or Styx, then it is time you discover that this kind of music lives on in this band.

Check out the video for “Delusional”:

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