Eargasm: This lion doesn’t bite

British Lion by Steve Harris. When you pick an album called British Lion by the bassist and primary songwriter of legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden, you expect — and rightfully so — to hear, in whatever amount, that distinct, old-school NWOBH sound. Not exactly Maiden-esque, but perhaps by way of Saxon or Diamond Head or even Motorhead. But when the album sounds like a collection of Journey outtakes when the band was still in need of a decent singer, then you begin to agree with those Christian nutjobs that God hates heavy metal and is doing everything to destroy it.

My one and only — but very major — beef with this album is with the singer. (Okay, I also have an issue with the sound quality, but I got this album through illegal means so I guess I shouldn’t be complaining about that.) As a vocalist, Richard Taylor can hardly sing as much as he can mumble. Perhaps he’s an electric performer onstage, but in the album he sounds weak and uninspired — and that weighs the whole thing down. I’m saying tracks like “This is My God” and “Karma Killer” would have been memorable songs if only they were sung by a singer who has more conviction and passion in his voice. Arnel Pineda or that dude from Tyketto could’ve made “The Chosen Ones” and “These are the Hands” sound awesome. And for a song titled “Judas,” it doesn’t have any punch in it. In short, thanks to Taylor, full lift off is not accomplished in any of the cuts despite undeniable potential, and the result is a  British lion that bares more gums than fang. (Verdict: One star)

More reviews to follow, if I can find time to write ’em. Terribly busy these days…

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