Lion's Share

Dark Hours

Written by: EW on 17/04/2009 23:14:38

I must admit that I had to perform my best as a honest reviewer as to not base this review on preconceptions of a band I had never heard of yet were in the release phase of their sixth studio album in a 22 year career. Coincided with the mental note they had a band name sounding like a bad 80's German cheese-rock band I was worried, so worried infact I finally only listened to "Dark Hours" weeks after being given the download rights to it.

Well well well I must like surprises. That first fateful listen had an ominously good start; I was actually singing along to the "JUDAS! JUDAS! MUST DIE!" chorus of opener "Judas Must Die" (you'd never have guessed) on the very first listen. Is it even possible to be caught so unprepared to actually sing along during the first song I'd heard from a band?! Fulfilling a rather splendid mix of Dio, Dio and Dio, Swedes Lion's Share engage in the most classic metal glory, from the aforementioned insanely catchy "Judas Must Die" to the fist-pumping "The Bottomless Pit" and the gang vocal laden "Heavy Cross To Bear". Infact, while proceedings may never quite reach the same heights after the opening track the quality hardly deteriorates at all; in a genre often staid, and well, German, Lion's Share are exuberant and energetic across the whole album. Labelling them as pure Dio-clones is probably a touch unjust; at various points Saxon and Black Sabbath are clear, and even Children Of Bodom in some moments of "Barker Ranch", but the miniature metal god is the over-riding influence over the band - just listen to "The Presidio 27" and try hard not to think of him.

However when band worship is done this well who cares? I'm a hard person to please in this genre of metal as new fresh ideas are as elusive as that pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow (another tenuous band link for you there) but it's just impossible to not enjoy "Dark Hours". Nils Patrik Johansson, the band's fourth vocalist, is the pick of the bunch but when most songs could've been recommended as ones to check out the following mark is unavoidable. It just leaves the question, what will "Dark Hours" do for Lion's Share? Not much I fear. Should they have the desire and a good support slot their name will spread, but this market is crowded and there exists a fine line between a great and average album. Watch Lion's Share survive on the minnow's portion for time to come with the comfort of at least one great album under their belt.

Download: Judas Must Die, Heavy Cross To Bear
For The Fans Of: Dio, Saxon, Thunderstone
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date: 25.03.09
Blistering Records
Provided by Target ApS

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