Lion's Share - Two (Century
Imagine the aggression and energy of Judas Priest mixed with the melodic songwriting of Pretty Maids and the technical skills of Racer X and you might get an idea of what this CD sounds like. I even hear a little Dream Theater influence here and there. Lion's Share are highly progressive, yet they are still heavy and don't forsake songwriting for technical wankery. I am absolutely stunned by how good this band is. As with any progressive band there are plenty of changes in tempo, riffs, mood, etc. in any one song, yet somehow Lion's Share manage to remember that there needs to be a hook and *GASP* a chorus! (Something many prog-metal bands seem to have forgotten!) Even the instrumental manages to hold interest while allowing the band to show off a little. Add to this the stellar vocal performance of Andy Engberg and you have youself one fine heavy metal feast. A solid CD from beginning to end.
I found the liner notes to be a bit amusing. For some reason the band felt it neccessary to list in big bold letters, "ABSOLUTELY NO GATES USED ON THIS CD." OK, I remember when metal bands use to say "absolutely no keyboards used on this album" as if it were a badge of honor. I am not sure what not using any sort of gates in the recording proves. Noise gates and such are used by just about every guitarist to clean up their sound. Perhaps they meant no Bill Gates used on this CD. If that is that case I applaud them. Microsoft products suck! Macs rule!
Lion's Share - Fall From Grace (Massacre) 1999
1. "The Edge of Sanity"
"Fall From Grace" is melodic, riff driven, Swedish heavy metal. The songs are progresive, but not to the point of losing memorable hooks and simple grooves. The CD opens on a powerful note with "The Edge of Sanity" and "Unholy Rites". Both tracks are heavy and have driving riffs. The nearly epic length title track is one of the standout cuts here and mixes some neo-classical metal elements with a touch of Black Sabbath inspired doom. "Rememberance" is one of the mellower tracks on the CD and has a melancholy, feel, not unike something you might expect from Black Sabbath. "The Day the Earth Caught Fire" with it's layered vocals reminds me of something Queen might have done. This song is actually a cover of the City Boy's (1979). Andy Engberg's smooth, clear voice has a familiarity about it, although I can't exactly say who he sounds like. Regardless, his voice really makes this CD worth listening to. It's hard to put into words what some bands sound like. While many would label Lion's Share power metal, they really have nothing in common with the hordes of power metal bands, nor are they exactly like the masses of Dream Theater wannabe prog-metal bands. Rather, Lion's share walk a fine line between melodic metal and straight forward heavy metal with some slight power metal and progressive tendencies. The CD finishes off with a nod to a band that obviously inspired Lion's Share sound. "A Touch of Evil" is a cover of Judas Priest's melodic metal classic.
Lion's Share - Entrance (Massacre) 2001
"Entrance" is first rate, melodic heavy metal. Sweden's Lion's Share are on of those bands that manages to stay pretty heavy and guitar driven, despite being very melodic and having a lot of AOR qualities about their music. New vocalist Tony Niva has a more than adequet voice. As a matter of fact, he is quite the powerhouse. His smooth voice has a ton of emotion and adds a whole new dimension to Lion's Share. Favorite tracks would be be "On And On" and "Losing My Head", both sporting speed, killer riffs, and hooks. I also quite liked the slow, plodding "War Machine". The opening for this track reminded me of Thin Lizzy's "Angel of Death". This song starts off with a slow, Sabbath-inspired riff but builds up the the pinnacle, which is the smokin' guitar solo, then takes the listener back down again. Quite nice! "Entrance" is a solid, heavy, melodic metal album.