Three years after their critically acclaimed release of Second Nature, LIONHEART are back at it with brand new album The Reality of Miracles, out now via Metalville Records. If a heaping dose of Melodic Hard Rock and AOR is what you’re after then this should be right up your alley. There are a ton of hooks and the songs are extremely catchy. Boasting a line-up that includes former and current members of IRON MAIDEN, UFO, and MICHAEL SCHENKER, this five piece definitely has the chops. Guitarists Dennis Stratton and Steve Mann (who also plays the keyboards), bassist Rocky Newton, drummer Clive Edwards, and singer Lee Small work well as a unit for the majority of the record, and it sounds like they had fun making this one.
Right away the tunes that hit me were “High Plains Drifter”, “Five Tribes”, and “All I Want Is You”, the latter of which became an instant favorite. Goddamn, that chorus takes me back to a simpler time in life when the biggest thing we had to worry about was where the party was that night. Obviously a record like this is gonna have a couple of slower numbers, such as the title track and quasi-ballad “The Reality of Miracles” which I also enjoyed very much. I think Small is a fantastic vocalist, and a song like this only cements that belief. My absolute favorite on this whole thing, “Kingdom of the East”, features a terrific back and forth vocal between Small and Stratton. This is definitely one of my favorite tunes of 2020 and a SOTY candidate!
Meanwhile “Widows” brings the melodic rock and roll verses and hooks right to the forefront, making it another winner. By the way, if you close your eyes when listening to “Outlaws of the Western World” and “Thine Is the Kingdom” you will most definitely be transported back to a time when AUTOGRAPH’S “Turn Up the Radio” and DANGER DANGER’S “Naughty Naughty” ruled the airwaves, which is by no means a bad thing. “Overdrive” is undeniably, and without a doubt an anthem for us rockers of a certain age, but the youngsters can still get down with it as far as I’m concerned. Either way I fuckin’ love it!
Closer “Still It Rains On Planet Earth (Lacrimosa)” hits a sweet spot and is a great way to end this musical journey. Look, I never heard note one from this band till a few years ago. But I have well and truly enjoyed what I’ve listened to since then. LIONHEART are very, very good at what they do, and that is make Melodic Rock/AOR music with a hugely anthemic quality. The Reality of Miracles is a really good disc, and with a Song of the Year candidate on it in “Kingdom of the East”, you best believe I have been, and will keep spinning this one a lot. Once you plug in and listen, I guarantee you will also!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Kingdom of the East”, “Overdrive”, “The Reality of Miracles”, “All I Want Is You”, “Widows”