Emotional Coma by Lion's Share
Release date : June 2007
Reviewed by Anthony Morgan
The last time the Metal listening population heard new material from Swedish act Lion's Share was way back in 2001, namely their lone release for Massacre Records entitled Entrance. Since that time, the group's mainman Lars Chriss went on a break to recharge the collective batteries, and revamped the group lineup. Patrik Johansson joined the ranks in 2003, and since that time has carved a career with bands like Astral Doors and Wuthering Heights. With Sampo Axelsson recruited for bass duties a year later, the lineup was complete. Several years work has evolved into Emotional Coma, the long awaited follow up. Featuring Richard Evensand (ex-Chimaira, Therion, Soilwork) on session drums, an appearance at Sweden Rocks 2007 aims to crown Lion's Share's return.
Patrik Johansson's capable voice possesses impressive depth and much texture, providing mainman Lars Chriss with carte blanche to wholly blossom in terms of songwriting prowess. Having such a heavyweight in the ranks instills Chriss with confidence in his own abilities, and that's the genuine treasure that lies within Emotional Coma. Mature, fluid songwriting naturally emerges at the very height of their powers, penning a handful of quality tracks. Whether it be a roaring, pacy singalong like “Cult of Denial”, or a tender, mellow affair such as the title track, the hefty range Chriss is allowed to experiment with runs deep. Every once in awhile you hear the critics bemoan the lack of Classic Metal hitting the airwaves, and to be fair their constant whinging gets rather tiring. These same critics need to purchase a copy of this album, and then sufficiently praise the likes of Lion's Share that keep plugging their trade with remarkable finesse.
Erstwhile Kiss alumni Bruce Kulick weighs in with a pair of attractive guitar solos courtesy of the old guard, and those adorn chosen cut “The Edge of the Razor”. Megadeth guitarist Glen Drover donates a more melodically charged solo to the title track, though please do not let this fool you. Lion's Share's axeman can more than hold his own, strumming through a clutch of pleasing solos at various moments of the album.
The evident influence of Classic Metal left partially visible traces in today's Metal landscape, though most only incorporate certain elements of that style into their music. Lion's Share wholly immerse themselves in the style, their hearts belonging to a previous generation of musicianship. Emotional Coma proudly bears the invincible determination and battle worn scars that Classic Metal has accrued over the years, making one short and simple statement. That message is the following: Classic Metal is alive, in good health and thriving. Some may view this as a regressive step given that it utilizes a years old format, though some view it as a warm tribute which pays homage in an energetic, refreshing way. Let's hope Lars Chriss' lengthy break has supplied him the strength to pen a follow up in swift time.