Release Date: Sep 25, 2012
Record label: Universal
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
After somehow mustering the willpower to remain tight-lipped about this solo project for decades (literally!), Iron Maiden founder and bassist Steve Harris seemingly dropped this hard-rock heavy hitter from the heavens. Musically, the group has little in common with the operatic, prog-metal epics of Harris’ main band, and, in fact, British Lion might surprise longtime Ed Heads in that it's more redolent of the sort of ’80s hard-rock bands who dominated the radio waves when Maiden couldn’t, like Dokken and even Whitesnake. But this knack for range is what makes Harris a vital songwriter, and the music on the record is cohesive, not some tossed-off side project.
As one of the most influential bass players in heavy metal, it should come as no surprise that Iron Maiden's Steve Harris' instantly recognizable galloping eighth notes ride high in the mix on his first ever solo outing. British Lion, which was originally the name of the band that Harris and some non-Maiden mates formed in the early '90s to tear through some sword and sorcery-less, dive bar-ready hard rock in the vein of UFO, Deep Purple, and the Scorpions, sounds exactly like its influences would suggest. Toss in a little Rainbow, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, and a tiny smattering of his meal-ticket band and you've got a serviceable slab of unpretentious yet utterly forgettable '80s retro-metal that adheres to every cliché in the book -- which is forgivable, as it was brought into this world by one of that book's authors.
Let’s get a few things straight. Iron Maiden’s place in rock history was cemented long ago, we know this. I mean, we ALL know this. Right? Whether or not you give a shit about them now (or ever) is utterly redundant. Sure, their latter-day output has been a mixed bag, but regardless of any ….