Released By : Frontiers Records
Genre : AOR
Toby Hitchcock – Vocals
Jim Peterik – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums
Additional Musicians – Kelly Keagy, Ed Breckenfeld, Bobby Lizik, Klem Hayes, Mike Aquino
03. Tie Down The Wind
04. Shine On
05. Everything That Money Can’t Buy
06. Coin Of The Realm
07. Sending My Love
08. Vital Signs
09. If It Doesn’t Kill Me
10. Are You The Same Girl?
11. Ask Me Yesterday
Can you believe that it’s already been five years since the last PRIDE OF LIONS release, the 2007 AOR masterpiece THE ROARING OF DREAMS. Both Toby Hitchcock and Jim Peterik have been quite busy since that album came out, Hitchcock released his well-received first solo outing and Peterik teamed up with an old friend in Jimi Jamison to co-write the almost flawless 2008 album CROSSROADS MOMENT and also released an album in 2009 under the LIFEFORCE moniker.
The combination of Toby Hitchcock’s unique made-for-AOR vocals and Jim Peterik’s continuously top-shelf songwriting has proven to be a pretty special combo over three albums, and while IMMORTAL doesn’t quite reach the lofty heights of their previous albums, it’s still a pretty great record in its own right and one that will certainly gather the attention of the AOR fan-base. As you would expect the songwriting is once again very, very good and it amazes me how many pure AOR gems manage to come out of the writing pen of Peterik. Hitchcock’s vocals are just as good as any previous albums and it’s nice to hear him back in his comfort zone after his solo release which seemed a little bit heavy for his vocal style.
As with the previous PRIDE OF LIONS albums there’s a near-operatic and epic feel to a lot of the songs here with tracks like IMMORTAL, COIN OF THE REALM and TIE DOWN THE WIND sounding almost like mini-audio movies or something to that effect. Hitchcock gets to flex his ridiculously wide range on a couple of big power ballads EVERYTHING MONEY CAN’T BUY and ARE YOU THE SAME GIRL, but unfortunately neither of these tracks come close to the bands best ballad FAITHFUL HEART. The book-end tracks IMMORTAL and ASK ME YESTERDAY are also pretty good too. I like the fact that the first couple of bars of IMMORTAL are sung by Peterik before Hitchcock come in over the top and just blows you away. I have said in previous reviews that this guy is one of the best AOR vocalists ever, and I hear enough on this album to still be confident in saying that.
So overall it’s a little bit below the band’s last couple of albums, but as a stand-alone release it’s still one of the best pure AOR albums of the year and I expect to see it on just about every single best-of list at the end of the year.
Written By ZeeZee