When Frontiers released Pride Of Lions’ groundbreaking first album in 2003, many people asked “is this one of those project bands that do one or two cds and then disappear – or a real band with staying power?” Now in the year 2017 the answer is clear at the dawn of the release of their fifth studio album “Fearless”! In addition, their best selling “Live In Belgium” cd and dvd proves to the world that Jim Peterik and Toby Hitchcock and the powerful Pride Of Lions band is not just a studio concoction, but a live force to be reckoned with, headlining shows in America and Europe.
“We are always trying to top ourselves” states singer/ songwriter/ guitarist Jim Peterik. “This time I went back and listened closely to all the previous cds to hear the strongest assets of each record: what was working and what could be improved. I went into writing the fearless material keeping that in mind. I feel it sticks closer to the template we set with our first cd, yet goes to new places musically as well like using a Kansas- style fiddle- played by Andrew Ohlrich- on the video/single “All I See is You.”
The songs and performances on fearless are… well… truly fearless. The title track blazes from the speakers gaining steam with every chorus. “Take the highest ground- stand and fight- you gotta be harder- you gotta be tougher- you gotta be- fearless!” This could be the new battle cry for Rocky Balboa or any common man needing to make a difference in the world.
“When I got together with Jim in Chicago to record- things just caught fire” enthuses Toby. “I sang 12 vocals in two days- unheard of! That’s how inspired I was with the new material.” “Toby hit new heights on this cd” raves Jim. “I was sitting behind the recording console with Larry Millas just one big goose bump as Toby glided from hard rockers like “rising up”, classic melodic rock like “all i see is you” to a heartfelt ode to timeless love- “everlasting love.”
Future classics like “The Tell” where the woman is giving off signals she may not even realize. To the mesmerizing magic of “Silent Music” – “I can’t help it if I talk funny- I can’t express the way i feel in spoken words- hold on,” to the mysterious “Freedom of the Night” written with former Jimi Jamison keyboardist Hal Butler, the lyric, chord changes and melody seems to channel what Jimi might now be singing if his life had not been tragically cut short.
“The last track is one of my favorites.” states Toby Hitchcock. “I think we all can relate to the often painful process of figuring out just who we are and how we fit on this planet. “Unmasking the Mystery” is not something that happens all at once- it happens over time and on our last day we still won’t have all the answers.” The album will be supported by live dates- in the states and abroad, the first show will be on January 28th as a part of Jim Peterik’s World Stage at Wentz Hall in Naperville, Illinois.
Also in early 2017 premiers the music video for “All I See is You” directed by Greg Bizzarro noted for every POL video thus far, as well as the popular “Cold Blooded” video by Peterik / Scherer starring a reprise role by Leann Marie of “I Can’t Hold Back” video fame.
So crank it up! The louder the better – after all “You gotta be fearless!!!”
The album kicks off with a very Kansas sounding tune called “All I See Is You.” While it does sound like the band Kansas, the vocals and guitar sound set it apart. Very smooth guitar solo and nice harmonies on the choruses.
“The Tell” continues the album with lots of melodic soloing throughout the entire song while the vocals continue to impress and help to carry the song.
“In Caricature” and “Silent Music” lead vocals are reminiscent of Dennis de Young of STYX fame and Michael Sweet of Stryper. All the songs up to this point have a much unified sound with smooth guitar, vocals and keyboards. Very much like growing up in the 70’s.
Finally, the title track “Fearless” gave me something to sink my teeth into as the initial guitar riff is the heaviest thing I’ve heard, so far. Up-tempo double bass drumming and a more aggressive guitar solo combined with huge vocals seems to drive the band into new territory while still maintain the previous songs melodies.
“Everlasting Love” is a beautiful ballad that starts with piano and vocals. This song will have you replaying it time and time again. An incredible vocal performance that made you feel the passion just from its delivery.
“Freedom Of The Night” continues where “In Caricature” and “Silent Music” left off.
“The Light In Your Eyes” is another ballad also starting with only a piano and vocals until the band kicks in at the first chorus on a number that sounds familiar but when you hear the bands delivery you gain a new respect for the song writing that goes into writing such a song. Delivery is everything.
“Rising Up” is very upbeat and starts with Drums and a Heavy guitar riff. If you didn’t know it you would think it was Michael Sweet and Stryper, very commercial and ready for Radio.
“The Silence Of It All”, “Faster Than A Prayer” and “Unmasking the Mystery” close out the album and show the song writing consistency. Nice melodies and beautiful vocals stay consistent throughout the entire album, with some smooth guitar lines.
Overall, the album was a very easy listen.
LISTEN TO FEARLESS
Jim Peterik: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Toby Hitchcock: Vocals
Ed Breckenfeld – drums
Klem Hayes – bass
Mike Aquino – guitar
Christian Cullen – keyboards
- All I See is You
- The Tell
- In Caricature
- Silent Music
- Everlasting Love
- Freedom of the Night
- The Light in Your Eyes
- Rising Up
- The Silence Says it All
- Faster than a Prayer
- Unmasking the Mystery
Band: Pride of Lions
By Storm@backstage360.com / hardmanpr