STEVE HARRIS – British Lion

STEVE HARRIS - British Lion
  • 7.5/10
    STEVE HARRIS - British Lion - 7.5/10


EMI Music
Release date: September 24, 2012

User Review
10/10 (1 vote)

Anyone who is a fan of Metal recognizes the name of Steve Harris as the bassist, founder, and main songwriter for the legendary Iron Maiden. It is not all together uncommon for the members of Iron Maiden to venture into solo projects as well. Harris has been counseling a band called British Lion since the early ‘90s. This band worked off and on with various personnel throughout the years, but nothing came to fruition due to Harris’ commitments to Iron Maiden over the past several years. However, in July 2012 Harris announced the release for the forthcoming album British Lion with a group of unknown musicians completely independent from Iron Maiden.

Harris has described the album as being “very British sounding, very ‘70s influenced and quite commercial.” Harris may not be that far off with his analysis. The ten tracks presented in this project do not sound anything like an Iron Maiden album, and many of the tracks contain a commercialized Hard Rock or even Pop Rock feel to them. It would seem the compositions are not quite “‘70s influenced”, but perhaps lean toward the ‘90s; either way there is not a modern sound presented at all.

One of the noticeable qualities of British Lion as a whole is the odd production value. For obvious reasons, the album is extremely bass heavy. Harris’ bass is extraordinarily pronounced on each and every track. Because of this, however, the overall sound is somewhat muddy and lacks clarity. When played at an excessive volume there is a significant amount of reverb that simply drowns out the vocals. Harris is credited as the main producer of the album.

Vocalist Richard Taylor is certainly a pleasant surprise. His emphatic, high pitched vocals resemble that of a young Phil Mogg from U.F.O., and maybe with a slight inflection of Bruce Dickinson as well. Taylor sings very articulately and theatrically. Like Dickinson, he puts forth an emotional emphasis into each and every word. So much, there are certain points during the album where it starts to sound like a Dickinson solo project. Regardless, Taylor’s vocal talent is quite good and does an impressive job of giving life to each composition. Essentially, if U2’s Bono were to make a Heavy Metal album, it would sound a lot like Taylor’s performance on British Lion.

There is a heavy dose of melodrama inscribed into many of the compositions on British Lion. The most dramatic track would have to be “The Lesson” — a melancholy, acoustic song filled with a large amount of angst and torment. Another anguish-heavy song is “Judas”, which contains a chorus line full of verve and spirit. The middle part of “Judas” breaks into a saddened acoustic segue that could literally bring you to tears, given the appropriate circumstance.

Overall, British Lion may not go down as a masterpiece; however, it is an enjoyable listen and provides an excellent framework for expansion into a follow up album. Cleaner production would certainly be an improvement, but there is enough depth and intensity to supply the listener with an agreeable sense of completeness.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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