Lion's Share - Dark Hours (Blistering Records/Warner)

Melody? Check. Power? Check. Ronnie James Dio impersonation? Check. Songs catchier than crabs? Check. Guitar hero status pending? Check. Swedish rockers Lion's Share hit you up with an album that has it all ... but is that enough?

This, the sixth album from Swedish power metal band, Lion’s Share, is a mighty fine effort.  From the opening salvo, Judas Must Die, you are hit with vocalist Patrik Johansson’s best Dio impersonation, guitarist Lars Chriss running riot and just a solid, catchy and heavy as hades sound that sucks you right in. 

And it doesn’t let up. Phantom Rider and the keyboard-heavy Demon In Your Mind continue the pace before Heavy Cross To Bear slows it down just a tad for some early Rainbow crossed with Metal Church smash-mouth metal. And speaking of Metal Church, The Bottomless Pit has that classic early Church sound – could almost be an out-take from The Dark: fast and powerful, and you will be singing the chorus within one listen. While the pace slows down a little for The Presidio 27 (at least momentarily) and Barker Ranch lacks the power of the earlier tracks, finisher Behind The Curtain had me thinking again of Metal Church.

Chriss is another in a long line of great guitarists coming out of Europe, he knows how to wring that neck and adds some solid and classic rifforama to the sound, really giving the air guitar kids something to play with. Johansson’s vocals laying somewhere ‘tween the midget maestro Ronnie James Dio and Metal Church’s original vocalist David Wayne gives the songs that “I’ve heard this before but where?” sound that makes you come back for more. 

While some may not like that idea, I really can’t see their problem. This is a strong album, a great sound, heavy, powerful, a touch of ‘yeah I’ve heard it before but it still sounds good’, some great drumming from guest Conny Pettersson, hell even the fillers are good – what’s not to like?  Whether this will Lion's Share above the competition is another thing altogether; but for fans of good powerful, melodic metal you could do a lot worse.  

Lion's Share's Dark Hours is out now on Blistering/Warner.