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Lion's Share: Dark Hours

Lion's Share: Dark Hours

Melodic Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.0/5.0

To start, the new Lion's Share 'Dark Hours' is much better than their previous release, 'Emotional Coma,' not light years better, but better. The former disc seemed intent upon reminding you that Lion's Share knows how to put 'heavy' into heavy metal. 'Emotional Coma' was good, but I didn't need to be pummeled into monotony to recognize that principals Lars Chriss, Patrik Johansson, and Sampo Axelsson knew how to bring it. With 'Dark Hours' the heavy metal remains, but the sound is more refined, melodic and accessible.

Most of the difference on 'Dark Hours,' I believe, is due to better compositional efficiency. Of the 12 songs here, eight are less than four minutes long. The better songs on 'Dark Hours' like 'Phantom Rider,' 'The Bottomless Pit,' and 'Barker Ranch' benefit from this economy simply because Lion's Share packs more musical depth into each song. For instance, 'Phantom Rider' demonstrates the breadth of Johansson's vocal skills; 'The Bottomless Pit' proves Chriss's superb guitar skills and the ability to blend heavy metal with deliberate catchy melodic arrangement; and, 'Barker Ranch' displays the general melodic metal versatility present throughout. Additional memorable songs include the retro heavy metal number 'Heavy Cross To Bear' and 'Behind The Curtain,' a solid melodic heavy metal piece with a good mixture of tempos. However, when LS dogs it they really bottom out: both 'Demon In Your Mind' and the hideous 'Space Scam' were real sleepers for me.

In the end, I really like Lion's Share's direction on 'Dark Hours.' This effort is definitely superior to their previous work. 'Dark Hours' is more compact, melodic, and accessible while still maintaining a solid heavy metal foundation. Recommended!

In Short

I really like Lion's Share's direction on 'Dark Hours.' This effort is definitely superior to their previous work. 'Dark Hours' is more compact, melodic, and accessible while still maintaining a solid heavy metal foundation.

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