Lion's Share
Dark Hours

When many people first hear the name of this Swedish Heavy/Power Metal band, they may hardly suppress making a caustic joke, but once they hear the music delivered by this group their sarcasm should go out the window in nothing flat. At least, this is what actually happened to an acquaintance of mine when he experienced just the first few chords of Dark Hours, the newest release from Lion’s Share and their first on the Blistering Records label (also home of Submission, Bloodbound, Almah, Crematory, Jorn, Saidian, etc.).

In fact, this album is a more than worthwhile purchase on the basis of two songs alone, “Judas Must Die” and “Napalm Nights», both of which have an excellent chance to eventually become classics of traditional style Heavy Metal. These two not only make me shiver with excitement every time I’m exposed to their incredible combination of massive kick-ass energy and great melodies, for they combine all the best qualities of the genre and are nothing short of perfection. That being said, I’m certainly not claiming the rest of the material on the album to be average or not worth any attention either. On the contrary, vocalist like Nils Patrik Johansson (also of Astral Doors, Wuthering Heights, Space Odyssey) turns all the songs into pure gold, with his gritty range similar to that of Ronnie James Dio, Tim Aymar, Russell Allen and other giants of this field.

In addition, it is the songwriting that also makes this disc even more appealing. The band’s leader and guitarist Lars “Chriss” Christmansson was definitely a student of many a legendary 80’s icon since his passion for such landmark works as Heaven And Hell, Defenders Of The Faith, and Holy Diver simply shine through on nearly every tune or riff. For instance, the weighty and dramatic power-ballads “Heavy Cross To Bear” and “Behind The Curtain” are presented in a serious vein of “Children Of The Sea” or “The Mob Rules”, whereas the more vigorous “Phantom Rider” and “Space Scam” rely more on the mind-boggling guitar histrionics that can also be found on such classics like “Jawbreaker” “The Sentinel” or “Holy Diver”. However, the riffs and compositional structures employed on Dark Hours seem more refined and intricate and are well suited for today’s standards. The same can be said about the exemplary sound production, which further bolsters the high quality of this release.

In summary, if you are one who still keeps an eye on the traditional metal scene and don’t mind an occasional flashbacks of past legends, Dark Hours must definitely find its way into your collection. I, for one, enjoyed it far more than the last offerings from metal “gods”, like Priest, Maiden or Sabbath (read Heaven And Hell), and this fact tells its own story if you like!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Igor Stakh
May 20th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Scott Alisoglu

    Fully agree! Easy Top 10 year-end selection for me!


  2. Commented by: Shawn Pelata

    I need to check this out. I liked the first 3 LS albums but lost track when they changed singers…


  3. Commented by: Blog › Teeth of the Divine Staff Picks of 2009 › Teeth of the Divine

    […] Lions Share, Dark Hours […]


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