LIONHEART Album Review: “The Grace Of A Dragonfly”

LIONHEART
“The Grace Of A Dragonfly”
Album Review by Iron Mathew

10/10

Lionheart are a melodic rock band from the UK formed by former Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton – the band releasing four albums to date, ‘Hot Tonight’ (1984), ‘Second Nature’ (2017), ‘The Reality Of Miracles’ (2020), and ‘The Grace Of A Dragonfly’ (2024).

Touring heavily during the eighties, Lionheart supported the likes of Def Leppard, Saxon and Whitesnake, and appeared at the 1981 Reading Festival (UK). The band suffered numerous line-up changes throughout the early years, disbanding in 1986 – reforming an incredible three decades later to perform at the 2016 Rockingham Festival in Nottingham (UK). The re-united Lionheart featured four original members – Stratton, Steve Mann (guitar), Rocky Newton (bass), and Clive Edwards (drums), the band completed by former Shy vocalist Lee Small.

And from there the band have been on the rise ever since, performing at the 2017 Sweden Rock Festival, co-headlining tours with Praying Mantis and Airrace, an appearance already booked at the 2024 Firefest Festival in Manchester (UK), and (of course) three albums in the space of seven years – the latest of which ‘The Grace Of A Dragonfly’ is an eleven song, forty seven minute barrage of highly infectious and immensely melodic hard rock! And if you thought a band featuring a former Iron Maiden guitarist was gonna be a metal band – think again! For Lionheart stand over the border wall in rock territory – standing very tall and very, very proud. ‘Declaration’ opens the album with a swagger, a roaring rock swagger, the band strutting their stuff with pure elegance – the sound of ‘Declaration’ harking back to the glorious eighties, yet emanating many modern day touches! Heavying things up a little bit, ‘Flight 19’ takes flight with an incredible injection of AOR, the melodic voice of singer Small on fine form – a perfect fit for this style of rock. The infectious level across the opening two songs is sky fucking high, Lionheart immediately grabbing listeners attentions!

And not letting go of them either, ‘The Grace Of A Dragonfly’ marching on with the energetic and up tempo ‘V Is For Victory’ – and one helluva sing a long-able chorus! Every listener, fan, follower and (ultimately) concert goer are gonna be singing along to this one, what a moment that’s gonna be in a live arena! Come on everyone, all together now “V is for victory creating history, this is a victory for all humanity, this brings a dawn of a new day, stand up together we’ll find a way, to turn skies blue from grey” – just fucking awesome! And featuring the heaviest barrage of melodic rock since the album began, ‘This Is A Woman’s War’ is punchy, crunchy, and liable to shake buildings to their foundations! The incredible attention grabbing intensity of ‘The Grace Of A Dragonfly’ is jaw dropping, with every rocker around the world unable to stop listening ’cause of the albums immense pull – a pull that’s much stronger than the Earth’s gravitational pull! Just where do the band get there energy from? Hell knows, but it’s breath taking, the album storming on with the most energy seen – or should that be felt so far, courtesy of ‘The Longest Night’. Lionheart turned everything up to ten when the album began, playing at the top of their game to deliver a hard rocking release to rival many of the recent melodic rock releases – and that includes bands such as Arctic Rain, Khymera, Pride Of Lions and T3NORS.

Featuring a massive eighties pop come soft rock feel, ‘The Eagle’s Nest’ is smooth, very smooth – Lionheart touring everywhere within rock territory, not leaving a single corner un-visited! The range of rock styles on offer is very wide, ‘The Grace Of A Dragonfly’ appealing to rockers young, old and new – I’m definitely in the “old” bracket here, growing up on a diet of Whitesnake, UFO, Foreigner, Journey, Boston, Kansas and all those other American rock bands named after American cities! And although I’m a metalhead at heart, rock was a major part of my youth – and even though my youth is many years behind me, rock is still a style of music I thoroughly enjoy! I’m telling ya readers, this old rocker (and metaller) is rock (and metal) mad! Definitely mad for albums like this one, Lionheart very much a part of my teenage years, and my, err, ahem, later years too! ‘Little Ships’ rocks heavier than everything heard so far, yet loses absolutely nothing of the cracking infectious nature the album oozes in droves – not to mention the energy and catchiness of every song on offer! Have the band got their own energy making factory? Quite possibly, ‘The Grace Of A Dragonfly’ marching on with ‘Just A Man’, reeking of the elegance heard earlier, Lionheart maintaining their phenomenal graceful waltz – a waltz that’s not stopped waltzing, ‘Just A Man’ (and indeed the entire album) a masterful display of everything great about rock.

And as ‘The Grace Of A Dragonfly’ strides on, the energy level – incredibly – rises even higher! ‘UXB’ is breathlessly energetic and up tempo, bringing an air of party rock to the fore – not to mention the essence of arena rock too! The bold and all consuming nature of the album should be played on the biggest stages in the world, and at every rock festival too! And in everyone’s car, for ‘The Grace Of A Dragonfly’ is an album to accompany you on a long drive in the country on a hot summers day, or on holiday when relaxing by the pool! Or even when partying the night away, it’s just so fucking versatile! The title song ‘The Grace Of A Dragonfly’ is the punchiest of all the songs on offer, hitting hard and kicking harder to leave a few small bruises on many listeners! And with only one song remaining, it’s amazing, but not unusual, that a rock album doesn’t include a ballad – which just goes to show how hard rocking the band (and album) are! And to the final song, or rather a hymn-like prayer, ‘Remembrance, Praying For World Peace’ – a soulful, mellow prayer with a poignant message.

Overall, a superb album of melodic rock oozing a tonne of energy and a sky high infectious level.

TRACKLIST

Declaration
Flight 19
V Is For Victory
This Is A Woman’s War
The Longest Night
The Eagle’s Nest
Little Ships
Just A Man
UXB
The Grace Of A Dragonfly
Remembrance, Praying For World Peace

https://www.lionheartrock.com/
https://www.facebook.com/lionheartrock

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