1. City Of Fallen Angels
2. The Burning
3. Father Lucifer
6. Last Chance
8. Spit Fire
9. Land Of The Perfect People
10. Bible Black
11. Native Son
British Lion are a side-project of Iron Maiden’s stalwart bassist (and founding member), Steve Harris. However they don’t sound particularly like Maiden, with an earthier, more Rock (rather than Metal) sound, and while you may get small glimpses of Maiden-like moments, they are more than individual enough to stand on their own.
'The Burning' is their second album and, to be honest, is a pretty fun time. As you might expect from a band that started exclusively as a Steve Harris side-project (their first album was called 'British Lion', with the artist credited as simply Steve Harris), they have a beautiful production throughout this album – a perfect marriage of rough edges where needed but overall very smooth and well-made.
And the songs all stand out as well. The first thing to mention is that “City Of Fallen Angels” (the opening track) comes straight in with vocals just a second or two after the song starts, bringing a sense of immediacy to the song – no long, overwrought introductions here, just some stripped back classic songwriting. And that’s pretty great.
For me, the three outstanding tracks are “Spit Fire” – which is about as Maiden-esque as this album gets, but in all the best ways, “Last Chance” which houses some beautiful melodies and an anthem-like chorus that would rise up out of any size crowd at a gig, and “The Burning” – the title track which starts off with a brilliant riff and moves along at a steady pace, confidently building itself up to be an absolute banger by the end.
The musicians surrounding Mr Harris’ thundering bass all seem exceedingly competent and bring their own flavours – the singer, for example, seems to be aiming for an entirely different atmosphere on the songs, helping to distinguish this band as something different.
It’s not quite a perfect album, a couple of tracks drag on a little, and a slight lack of variation means that it can just start to overstay it’s welcome by track 11, but it’s certainly got no major flaws or anything that would give you cause to switch it off instantly.
All in all this is an album perfect for Maiden fans who are also fans of Rock in general, or Rock fans who don’t find Maiden-style riffs offputting. It’s not a five star super-album, but it’s definitely above average, and contains a few absolute belters to weigh the scales in its favour.
Website - www.steveharrisbritishlion.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BritishLionUK/
Review - Michael Braunton