July 14, 2023

Melodic rock fans everywhere will know the name of Pride of Lions as the American melodic rock band formed by the Ides Of March and former Survivor guitarist Jim Peterik and vocalist Toby Hitchcock and as such are rightly regarded as AOR royalty. The band was formed in 2003 and has since released six near perfect slabs of quality melodic rock with the bands core sound being super slick and exceptionally smooth soft rock that is, in effect, the very epitome of AOR.

We now come to album number seven in Dream Higher and if you were expecting anything radically different from the template that has served them so well throughout their career then you do not really know the band; AOR is what they do and AOR is what you are going to get! Simply think of Survivor, Foreigner and Toto plus the cleverness and incisiveness of Cheap Trick and a little of the power and pomp of Magnum and you will get a flavour of what Pride Of Lions offer up. Which really is nothing short of sublime melodic rock that takes you straight back to those halcyon days of yesteryear when bands like Journey could simply do no wrong. Peterik is a master songwriter and excuisite guitarist too with the real surprise being his strong and distinctive voice plus he is a bit of a diva on keyboards as well; did I say that he is an undoubted genius? Add in the rich, soulful and extremely powerful voice of Toby Hitchcock and you have a match made in rock heaven.

The songs, as should be expected, are all hook laden and instantly hitting classics which allow you to float away on a cloud of melodic rock bliss. Again, the album features a pleasing mix of anthemic ballads and burning, steaming rockers that thrill to the core with lots of great guitars and vocals that are so, so delicious. Several musicians reprise their roles from 2020’s Lion Heart with Mike Aquino offering up lead and what is delightfully described as power guitar, Christian Cullen is on keyboards and orchestration and Ed Breckenfeld supplies drums and percussion with bass from the new man Bob Lizik. They have again formed a slick and talented team being perfection personified with their supremely talented delivery that sounds so easy and laid back in the way that only consummate professionals can play.

Be in no doubt, Pride Of Lions is a band that always produces the highest quality, classic AOR records that you will ever hear and you can simply close your eyes and it’s the 1980’aagain and all is right with the world. OK, so we’ve heard it all before but when it is this good then there is always time to listen again and again as you revel in true masters of the AOR genre.

Dream Higher

  1. Blind To Reason (4:40)
  2. Dream Higher (4:29)
  3. My Destiny (3:57)
  4. Find Somebody To Love (4:17)
  5. Another Life (3:58)
  6. Renegade Heart (4:24)
  7. Driving And Dreaming (5:11)
  8. Through It All (5:20)
  9. Everything To Live For (3:24)
  10. Generational (4:34)