King's Call revolves founder and Greek guitar wizard Alex Garoufalidis, but it's truly an international. Based out of Germany, drummer Asec Bergemann is from Azerbaijan, bass player Andreas Kramer from Germany, and vocalist Mike Freeland from England, notable for his work with Praying Mantis.
It's no exaggeration to say that Lion's Den, their third effort, is essentially a guitar driven melodic hard rock album. The focus throughout is clearly Garoufalidis's clean and creative fret work. He goes from blues to rock to shred to fusion guitar, veering towards prog and jazz, across this recording.
This is not to say the other musicians or the songs merely the hanger Garoufalidis hangs his guitar coat on. Freeland is an fine singer with an emotional, sometimes bluesy, style. The songs vary from straight hard rock, Mother Nature or Riding The Storm to AOR melodic rock with Love Will Find A Way or Is This The Life. Honestly, I wasn't all that impressed with the edgier hard rock songs, notably the first three. Excepting the sharp guitar work, nothing really hooked me.
It took Shy Love to make me believe that Lion's Den was more than another guitar guru's podium of expression. Get Up and Holy Ground are more interesting hard rock numbers thanks to hooks in both lyrics and guitar work. At the end, there are two long numbers, Waiting For You and Love Will Find A Way, which are definitely vehicles for Garoufalidis's guitar work. But they also demonstrate how he's able to balance strong song composition with the urge for simple fret pyrotechnics. Ultimately that's what makes this album work: strong balanced arrangements with enough room for Garoufalidis to fly. Recommended.
With Lion's Den, Greek guitar wizard Alex Garoufalidis once more balances his sharp and creative fret work with solid song composition for another album AOR melodic hard rock.
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