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Lion Shepherd

Crossover Prog

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Lion Shepherd Hiraeth album cover
3.31 | 16 ratings | 1 reviews | 19% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fly On (4:56)
2. Lights Out (5:14)
3. Brave New World (3:40)
4. Music Box Ballerina (5:00)
5. I'm Open (4:35)
6. Past In Mirror (4:40)
7. Wander (4:00)
8. Infidel Act Of Love (5:07)
9. Smell Of War (4:17)
10. Strongest Breed (4:29)

Total time 45:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Kamil Haidar / vocals
- Mateus Owczarek / electric & acoustic guitars, oud, harmonica (3,10)

- Rasm Al Mashan / vocals (1,9)
- Jahair Azim Irani / santoor (1,4,8,9), backing vocals (9)
- Radoslaw Kordowski / Hammond organ (2,6), piano (8), backing vocals (1)
- Wojciech Rucinski / bass
- Sławomir Berny / drums, percussion

Releases information

CD MJM Music PL ‎- MJM5259 (2015, Poland)

LP MJM Music PL ‎- MJM5264LP (2015, Poland)

Thanks to Evolver for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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LION SHEPHERD Hiraeth ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LION SHEPHERD Hiraeth reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Crow
3 stars Lion Shepherd's debut shows all their influences! But is that enough?

I had the opportunity to see this band live in Spain, back in 2015 together with Riverside and The Sixxis. They are pretty good live, with a surprisingly good sound and more than sufficient skills.

There is also an undeniable overall quality on Hiraeth, even with a couple of very good songs. But listening to this album it's impossible not to have the impression that the band did not show its full potential. The songs are lacking some sort of progression. They are not adventurous enough to appeal the true progressive fans, but also too complex to mainstream audiencies.

The vocals of Kamil Haidar are the absolute protagonist here, together with the good guitar work of Mateus Owczarek. The rest of the band just make a good and professional work, but nothing really remarkable.

Hiraeth opens wih Fly On, a good entry to the band imaginarium and sort kind of summary of the album's style. Catchy melodies, strong vocals and good guitar solos, with an ethnic oriental feeling that automatically brings acts like Orphaned Land to mind. Lights Outs offer the most intimate side of the band, with melloy guitars and a fine acoustic solo, while Brave New World is a hard rock bullet with a catchy chorus. A little too simplistic, but effective and a good song for concerts.

Music Box Ballerina sadly can't maintain the good level of the three previous tracks, resulting in a boring and a little too pretentious crossover prog song, with an odd touch of bands like Deadsoul Tribe. I'm Open is not related with Pearl Jam (sorry for the bad joke...), it's a song in the style of Opeth's Damnation, a bit forgettable. Past if Mirror is nonetheless the best song of the whole album, with fantastic guitar melodies and anoher catchy chorus suitable for live acts.

Wander is also the best slow song in the album, with anoher good vocal work from Haidar. Infidel Act of Love has some nice melodies, but it's too boring and superficial despite it's interesting melodic change towards the end, and the same can be said for Smell of War, a song that promises a lot with the growls and strong riffs wich reaches an abrupt and odd ending... This could have been a fine progressive metal song, guys!

The mid-tempo Strongest Breed ends in a misterious and intimate way... Not a really proper ending in my opinion, but I can't say it's a bad song.

Conclusion: Hiraeth is a good album, but far for brilliant. It lacks some sort of complexity or real progression in its songs. It's like the band was not brave enough to develope it's whole potential to make a really memorable and deep prog metal album. The result is an odd but interesting mixture of pop, metal and oriental music that will surely please both folk and prog metal lovers. And that's all, sadly.

But like I said, I think that Lion Shepherd are full of potential, good ideas and a strong live performance. So let's hope the best for Heat, their 2017 release!

My rating: ***

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