Steve Harris
British Lion



by AleksiS USER (16 Reviews)
September 21st, 2012 | 21 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hear the lion roar!

At first, the idea of Steve Harris doing a solo album feels quite pointless, seeing how he's pretty much the heart and soul of Iron Maiden. But listening to British Lion, it becomes quite clear that this isn't just a rehash of Iron Maiden, but instead it's something completely different. Unfortunately, this will either break or make the album for most listeners.

Going into British Lion, one might expect it to be filled with Maiden style metal, with a progressive twist (seeing how Harris was the sole songwriter on such classics as "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "The Phantom of the Opera"), but instead the album opts for more of a 70's hard rock sound, influenced by such bands as Thin Lizzy and UFO. While this probably isn't what most people are looking for in a Steve Harris album, it works.

British Lion opens with the track "This is My God". While a good song, it isn't the best way to open the album. The first thing that strikes you is the singer. While not bad, he's definitely nowhere near as powerful as Bruce Dickinson, opting for a softer vocal style. Fortunately this kind of singing works very well with insanely melodic choruses the album provides. Speaking of which, the choruses, while great and catchy, do provide a problem with the album, in that sometimes they're the only memorable part of the song.

Despite being very different from Iron Maiden's music, there are points in British Lion where the Maiden-connection becomes quite evident. Songs like "Us Against the World" and "Judas" could very well have been tracks on the next Iron Maiden album (whether this is a good or a bad thing as a solo album, is up for debate).

While the whole album might be a surprise to some, British Lion does feature songs that might leave people a bit bemused. "Eyes of the Young" is a surprisingly upbeat song, sounding very much like Journey (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but is one of the strongest tracks the album has to offer. Another shocker for most Maiden fans, might be the soft ballad "The Lesson". Featuring only the vocals, piano, acoustic guitar and strings, "The Lesson" is another good song on the album (although I'm not sure if it's placement as the last song on the album, was the best one).

Overall, the best way to describe British Lion is by comparing it to the self-titled Unisonic album. Most people were expecting Helloween style power metal, seeing how it was the reunion of Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen, but instead, it was a balls to the wall hard rock album. The same applies here; most are probably expecting British Lion to be a classic metal album, with the prog rock influences cranked up to eleven, but instead, it's 70's style hard rock. In the end, while it may not be as memorable, or as strong, as classic Iron Maiden albums, like The Number of the Beast and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (but then again what is"), British Lion is a great album, filled with great songs and catchy hooks.

Recommended tracks:

"Lost Worlds"
"Us Against the World"
"Eyes of the Young"
"These Are the Hands"

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user ratings (46)
other reviews of this album
lostforwords (3)
British Lion has more to offer to its creator than to his fans....

PsychicChris (4)
I used to dream of pictures that I would paint someday...

Starblind (3)
Give it credit- it's got the heart of a lion after all....

TheMoonchild (3.5)
Perhaps too clever for most people?...

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 21st 2012


Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Jammed a couple of times and honestly I find it rather uninteresting.

Good work nevertheless, have a pos.

Digging: Michael Schenker Group - The Michael Schenker Group

September 21st 2012


Bad day to publish this review, dozens of troll reviews will push it down.
Will read it later, I was very interested in this.

Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, pos.

Listening to the stream, this is mildly pleasant, although it is not groundbreaking or worth buying.

This brings in mind the Psycho Motel project from Adrian Smith, except Smith's work was more interesting.

September 21st 2012


Getting this album as-soon-as.

September 21st 2012


Although SH get out of the Maiden scheme, remains within the classical stuff. I hope someday SH be less music structured and more open to others rock/metal stuffs as Adrian Smith did.

September 21st 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

This album is painfully average, almost to the point of making it bad.

September 21st 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

This kinda toes the line between pleasant and bland, not really something you want from a hard rock/metal album. It's not bad, though.

September 21st 2012


Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

"comes quite clear" should be "becomes quite clear."

"more softer" should just be "softer."

"different to" should be "different from."

"While the whole album might be a surprise to some people, British Lion does feature songs that might leave people a bit bemused." is an awkward sentence due to its double reference to "people."

The "nevertheless" in the following sentence is out of place and the contrasting transition ("but") is expected to qualify the previous sentence, explaining how things are strange on the album, but only qualifies the song as one of the best on the album, which is awkward. Either that, or your use of the word "bemused" is poor and not providing the context you imagine it is, as the final sentence of the paragraph leads me to believe.

"The Unisonic album" should be named.

"ball to the wall" = "balls to the wall" (Balls would be mad.)

"the classic album" = "classic album." There's also a lot of comma splices in that sentence, as in many others ("The first thing that strikes you, is the singer" should contain no comma at all, for example).

I think this review gets your point across pretty well, but you need to fix up your grammar and conventions.

September 21st 2012


this album is garbage son, GARBAAAAAGE!

*runs away laughing while holding up waistband of absurdly baggy shorts"

September 23rd 2012


This sounds... disappointing. I'm sure Steve wanted to try something new, since he's been with Maiden for over 35 years now, but I have a feeling that this is very bland, especially if the choruses are the only strong points in the songs...

Pos'd for the review

September 23rd 2012



Contributing Reviewer
September 23rd 2012


Too many maiden comparisions, his work in maiden should no way effect how you see this. People don't seem to understand that

Digging: Basalte - Vertige

September 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

Like many people, I was expecting a progressive rock album. Anyone who has been following post-2000 Iron Maiden knows they have evolved into a prog rock outfit (or returned to where they left off with 7th Son), something driven by primary songwriter Harris. Odd that instead we get a Journey-esque album with a few nods to a more modern sound. It's not bad, but nothing really stands out.

September 24th 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

It's pretty difficult to not compare this to Maiden since that has been his entire life's work.

September 24th 2012


But that's the point... Steve has been in Maiden all his life, and this is him trying to diversify himself musically. He is a part of Maiden, but he's not ONLY Maiden.

Granted, this still sucks.

September 28th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Most of you judge this album from what Steve wrote for Maiden (That was heavy metal) this album is clearly rock/hard rock. And from what Ive heard its good. Its not amazing, its good. Remember, its not metal.

The material is pretty good. Songs like "Judas:, "A world without heaven" are really good.

September 28th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Most of you judge this album from what Steve wrote for Maiden (That was heavy metal) this album is clearly rock/hard rock. And from what Ive heard its good. Its not amazing, its good. Remember, its not metal.

The material is pretty good. Songs like "Judas:, "A world without heaven" are really good.

September 28th 2012


Still haven't listened to this yet.

September 30th 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

Just finished listening to this album and I must say that I am surprised. After 33 -34 years writing music for Maiden one wouldnt expect Harris to compose something different from his repertoire with the Irons. After all the lad has written at least the 75 - 80 % of the songs. But this album, although it has got some Maiden-like parts, doesn't sound Maiden at all. And that is surprising!!! The other surprising thing is that an album coming from Harris should be at least good rated but this is just average and I am being more than fair.

October 6th 2012


I just can't get into this album...

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