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British Lion – The Burning Award winner

British Lion
The Burning
by Dave Nowels at 12 February 2020, 11:05 AM

BRITISH LION have returned with their sophomore Explorer1 album “The Burning” which became available in January and coincided with BRITISH LION's first US tour which still runs until February 20th if you're so inclined. “The Burning” follows the bands excellent eponymous debut in 2012, and shows a band that's gotten much more comfortable in it's own skin, and in doing so have showed it's teeth and bared it's claws as it acclimates to the food chain.

It has to be a tough position to be in when so many people look at you more casually than seriously. After all, BRITISH LION is just Steve Harris' 'other' band right? In part, it's true. But I think Harris looks at it quite a bit differently. I'm positive his bandmates in Taylor, Leslie and Dawson see BRITISH LION as more than that. They should, because it's definitely the case. If you've jumped onto the bandwagon expecting a similar or extended output of the MAIDEN beast, you'll likely be disappointed. This is for the most part, a different animal. Think less NWOBHM, more Classic British Hard Rock.

While the debut album appropriately found the band attempting to find their identity, “The Burning” shows a swagger earned from weeks on the road, playing smaller venues and bars. The band 'gels together' much more and that's contributed to deceptively clever songs like “Legend”. Complex and catchy, it's just a great track. The following track, “Spit Fire” might seem like a MAIDEN track just by it's title. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it takes a similar MAIDEN approach, but Taylor wisely uses an emotively pure approach that acknowledges all while deifying comparisons. Tracks like “Elysium” and “Lightning” were definitely standouts, but I really enjoyed the album as a whole.

“The Burning” is just what a sophomore album should be. A continuation, with enthusiasm, growth and development. Harris is his usual subdued bass thumping brilliance. Hawkins and Leslie's dual guitar attack is on point, Dawson's drums precise and well deftly executed. Taylor's vocals add a final layer of confidence to the formula that seals the deal. BRITISH LION's “The Burning” is refreshing in it's telling of the story, and hints of even better tales in the future.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. City Of Fallen Angels
2. The Burning
3. Father Lucifer
4. Elysium
5. Lighting
6. Last Chance
7. Legend
8. Spit Fire
9. Land Of The Perfect People
10. Bible Black
11. Native Son
Richard Taylor – Vocals
Steve Harris – Bass, Keyboards
David Hawkins – Guitar
Grahame Leslie – Guitar
Simon Dawson – Drums
Record Label: Explorer1 Music


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Edited 09 June 2023

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