PRIDE OF LIONS – Live In Belgium

PRIDE OF LIONS - Live In Belgium


Release date: June 9, 2006

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Not content with releasing his own solo album (reviewed here), mixing Night Ranger Kelly Keagy’s solo album and producing Country Rock act The Drew Davis Band, Jim Peterik has found time to issue a new live DVD and CD by Pride of Lions.

Pride of Lions have to date released two albums of consummate AOR of the quality so abundant from the great bands around in the 80’s. Band leader and songwriter, Jim Peterik of Survivor fame, took the blue print of the components that made AOR such a force and brought them back up-to-date to deliver two albums of rare class.

Live in Belgium was recorded in front of over 17,000 rabid fans at the Lokerse Feesten in August 2005, and was Pride of Lions opportunity to show their colors in a live setting. In celebration of this event, Frontiers have seen fit to release a DVD and a CD of the soundtrack with the added incentive, if any was actually needed, of a bonus disc featuring no less than 7 rare and hard to find gems.

Opening strongly with “It’s Criminal,” “Gone,” and “Sound of Home,” probably the three most impressive cuts from the debut album, the band are quick to hammer home their credentials. Fortunately, such an impressive opening does not mean in this case that Pride of Lions have shot their bolt too soon. There’s plenty of quality material in their repertoire … with Peterik plundering his illustrious songwriting back catalogue (to the delight of the crowd) … with the biggest cheers welcoming the arrival of Survivor’s “I Can’t Hold Back” and a fist-pumping rendition of AOR heavyweight “Eye of the Tiger.”

With a sound combining the classy smoothness of Toto with the punchy accessibility of Survivor, Pride of Lions are a Melodic fan’s dream. Although the band may be the brainchild of Peterik, the main star in this case must be young vocalist Toby Hitchcock. After arriving as an unknown onto the scene with the debut album a couple of years back, with an astonishing voice akin to Toto’s Bobby Kimball with a hint of Jimi Jameson, Hitchcock has become a big name in his own right and on his own merits, and puts in a performance that defies his age.

The show is captured by 12 cameras, providing crystal clear images, giving a front row view of the proceedings. More distant stage shots give a greater perspective of the overall production, and the mix of the close ups and panoramic shots is just right, while the switching between cameras is perfect and avoids the trap of many recent DVD’s whereby the cameras seem to change with each blink of an eye. In this case, there is plenty of time to view what is on offer and soak up the atmosphere without getting a migraine from constantly changing shots.

Extras come in the form of the video for “Sound of Home,” a TV appearance featuring a number of acoustic performances, and the obligatory slideshow.

If buying the CD version, you get the soundtrack to the DVD, and more importantly, a collection of rarities featuring a mix of rockers and ballads, including “Black Ribbons (Voices Around The World),” a touching song dedicated to the victims of the Madrid bombing, alongside “Dark Angel,” possibly Pride of Lions’ most progressive and ambitious song to date.

Live in Belgium shows the quality of Pride of Lions, proving that they are no mere studio entity. This DVD/CD release consolidates their position as one of the premiere acts in modern day Melodic Rock. Whether you go for the DVD or CD version, you will not be disappointed.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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