• 9/10
    PRIDE OF LIONS - Lion Heart - 9/10


Frontiers Records
Release date: October 9, 2020

User Review
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The Backstory

Former Survivor guitarist/Ides of March founder Jim Peterik and vocal powerhouse Toby Hitchcock teamed up in 2003 to release the first Pride of Lions album. The plan was to pay tribute to the music and sounds of Peterik’s most successful years with Survivor. Songs with big choruses, heartfelt stories, and moving music melodies. The band accomplished this feat and more with five noteworthy albums and one stunning live album. Pride of Lions is set to release their sixth album Lion Heart through Frontiers Records on October 9, 2020.

[Listen to our in-depth interview with Jim Peterik here]

The Album

Pulsing keyboards lead the way to driving guitar licks on the album’s title track “Lion Heart.” Jim Peterik’s son Colin Peterik keeps a steady beat, while vocalist Toby Hitchcock gives it his all on the emotional and catch chorus. Peterik pays tribute to those that devote their time to charitable homeless causes with his lyrics. “We Play for Free” is given an ’80s feel with its brassy keys. Hitchcock and Peterik lament about the rush of playing in front of their fans. “Heart of the Warrior” is a poignant mid-tempo rocker about first responders on the front lines protecting us all. “Carry Me Back” is exactly the song you’d expect from the guy that wrote many of Survivor’s most memorable songs. Hitchcock even channels a little bit of Jimi Jamison in his vocal inflections.

“Good Thing Gone” is the ultimate kiss-off to a bad relationship. Its cleaver with its lyrics, and Toby is once again at the top of his game. “Unfinished Heart” is an impassioned ballad that holds its own with any ’80s pop-rock radio hit. “Give It Away” is a familiar narration of how there are things more valuable than possessions and money. “Rock & Roll Boom Town” is about Peterik’s early days living and playing in Hollywood, and how its sheen eventually wore off. The track has sort of a Broadway performance delivery to it. “Now” begins with clean guitars and soft vocals that eventually build to an impassioned electric guitar solo.

The Verdict

This Lion Heart beats strong with emotions, melodies, and relatable tales of love and life. 17 years hasn’t slowed down this AOR team from delivering what their fans expect of them. Musically Peterik conjures up memories of his early career while still giving Pride of Lions a sound of their own. Toby Hitchcock and the rest of the band deliver like they were by Jim’s side the entire time.


  1. Lion Heart
  2. We Play for Free
  3. Heart of the Warrior
  4. Carry Me Back
  5. Sleeping with a Memory
  6. Good Thing Gone
  7. Unfinished Heart
  8. Give it Away
  9. Flagship
  10. Rock & Roll Boomtown
  11. You’re Not a Prisoner
  12. Now

Pride of Lions is:

Toby Hitchcock – Lead vocals
Jim Peterik – Lead vocals, background vocals, keyboards, guitars, percussion
Ed Breckenfeld – Drums and percussion
Klem Hayes – Bass
Mike Aquino – Lead and rhythm guitar
Colin Peterik – Drums on “Lion Heart”
Kevin Campbell – Bass on “Lion Heart”
Christian Mathew Cullen – Synths & Programming


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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