No introductions needed for Steve Harris, the leader, bassist and soul of the Heavy Metal Gods, Iron Maiden. The debut album took it’s name by the band that Richard Taylor and Grahame Leslie were members of when they approached Steve Harris back in the early 90’s and asked him if he wanted to make the production. Steve liked their songs and agreed to help, but the band split up. Richard Taylor started a new band with David Hawkins, and Steve joined in some of their writing sessions. Eventually all four of them ended up playing together and writing material that became the “British Lion“. It is obvious that they named the band Steve Harris for promotional reasons only and it’s more of a band project than a personal album.
When it comes to music you can immediately understand that this has nothing to do with Iron Maiden stuff that Steve Harris is known for. It’s a mix of alternative rock with a touch of progressive rock and some metal elements and it was produced by Steve Harris, mixed by Kevin Shirley, and mastered by Ade Emsley. The general feeling is that the album lacks of ingenuity and sparkle. The bass sound is Maiden alike, guiding the rest of the band but even though this fits in Iron Maiden, in this case sometimes is too much and doesn’t match with the sound of the band. Going back to “British Lion”, the sound of the album varies due to the fact that many members have played throughout the album. Apart from Grahame Leslie and David Hawkins (who also played the keyboards) there is also Barry Fitzgibbon who plays the guitars on tracks 5, 6 and 8. Same goes for the drum section where Richard Cook plays the drums on tracks 1,3 and 7 and Ian Roberts on tracks 5,6 and 8. Richard Taylor’s voice is a bit neutral but fits in the mood of the album. Also, a better production would be acceptable.
The album kicks off with “This Is My God”, which is one of the highlights of the album and a video was made for this song. “Lost Worlds” and “Karma Killer” continue in the same mood with the first song with this alternative sound going on. ‘Us Against The World’ is more in the metal side of the band. ‘The Chosen Ones’ and “A World Without Heaven” are also highlights of the album with a more hard rock/ metal approach. “Judas” is a more alternative rock/ metal song continued by “Eyes Of The Young” which has an 80’s A.O.R./ hair band orientation. “These Are The Hands” is another good song with the same alternative sound flowing through the album followed by “The Lesson” an emotional acoustic ballad with a melancholic mood created by the strings.
I can’t say that the content of Steve Harris reflects the legend that this name carries, but if you put another name on the cover, “British Lion” is a good album.
|Track List||Line Up||01. This Is My God
02. Lost Worlds
03. Karma Killer
04. Us Against The World
05. The Chosen Ones
06. A World Without Heaven
08. Eyes Of The Young
09. These Are The Hands
10. The Lesson
|Steve Harris – Bass
Richard Taylor – Vocals
David Hawkins – Guitars, Keyboards
Grahame Leslie – Guitars
Simon Dawson – Drums