Released: 2004, Frontiers Records / Atenzia Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Lionsheart are back with a new supportive label, new image, and new line up (that’s been steady since three years back) with the singer Steve Grimmet (ex-Grim Reaper, Onslaught).
ABYSS is the result of some hard work and true commitment by the band. Steve Watkins has produced and the album was recorded in Warehouse Studio in Oxford, England. Mr. Watkins has created a very raw but yet sensitive production that captures the bands melodic music really well. Mr. Grimmet is up front in the mix with his lead vocals (which the whole album evolves around) as is guitarist Ian Nash. The info provided with the CD describes this as melodic heavy metal but I’m not convinced. In my opinion they play more like melodic hard rock with some edge on certain songs, but it’s not heavy metal at all. Mr. Grimmet has a stunning voice that he knows exactly how to use. Despite that this is melodic they haven’t used so many keyboards like many of the other bands who play this kind of music. Instead they rely on plain lead vocals and guitars - something that I appreciate.
“SCREAMING”, “NIGHTMARE”, “I’M ALIVE” and “ABYSS” are faster melodic hard rockers with nice guitar playing. The tempo is pretty fast and Mr. Grimmet along with Mr. Nash are at the top of the mix. The first song mentioned is the fastest one on the album. “ALL I GOT”, “HOW CAN I TELL YOU”, “DON’T WASTE MY TIME” and “WITCHCRAFT” are more standard melodic hard rock and a few of the songs are real sing a long friendly. “I NEED LOVE”, and “IF YOU CUT ME” are some ballads. These songs show several nuances of Mr. Grimmet’s voice. The songs are not impressive at all, but they have potential to be radio hits. Here Mr. Nash shows that he can do more with his guitar than just razor guitar solos. “SAVE ME” falls a bit out of form. This bluesy up-tempo ballad sounds like it could be a Whitesnake song although Mr. Grimmet has a different voice than Mr. Coverdale.
Lionsheart delivers a strong album and I don’t have many things to object about. This is melodic hard rock with some heavier edge and is something you definitely should check out if you like melodic hard rock. The negative things about the album are the ballads and the cover. They could have taken away the ballads and they should have chosen another title for the album. Neither that or the cover reflects the music well.