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Lion Shepherd

Crossover Prog

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Lion Shepherd Heat album cover
3.00 | 19 ratings | 3 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. On The Road Again (2:38)
2. Heat (4:27)
3. Code Of Life (4:33)
4. When The Curtain Falls (4:22)
5. Dream On (5:21)
6. Fall (5:05)
7. Storm Is Coming (4:42)
8. Dazed By Glory (4:26)
9. Farewell (6:14)
10. Swamp Song (5:57)

Total time 47:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Kamil Haidar / vocals
- Mateus Owczarek / electric & acoustic guitars, Irish bouzouki

- Kasia Rościńska / backing vocals
- Wojtek Olszak / keyboards
- Łukasz Adamczyk / bass
- Sławomir Berny / drums, percussion

Releases information

CD MJM Music PL ‎- MJM5278 (2017, Poland)

LP MJM Music PL ‎- MJM5279LP (2017, Poland)

Thanks to MChPro for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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More places to buy LION SHEPHERD music online

LION SHEPHERD Heat ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (21%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

LION SHEPHERD Heat reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
5 stars One of the benefits of having built up contacts over the years, is that sometimes I receive albums that I wouldn't have otherwise have come across. One day I was talking to my good friend and fellow writer Olav Bjørnsen in Denmark, and he told me that he had a duplicate of the new album by Lion Shepherd, and would I be interested in hearing it. A while later it turned up in the post, and I was impressed even before hearing it as here was fold out digipak that opened out so it formed a cross, with plenty of information on all sides, the booklet pasted into the top section, and the CD in the middle. A lot of effort and money had gone into this, and it is rare for a band to have that much spent on them unless they are quite special.

I undertook some research, and was somewhat surprised to discover that the guys were Polish, based around singer Kamil Haidar and Mateusz Owczarek (electric guitars, acoustic guitars, Irish bouzouki). They were joined on the album by Łukasz Adamczyk (bass), Sławek Berny (drums, percussion), Kasia Rościńska (backing vocals) and Wojtek Olszak (keyboards). The reason I was surprised was that musically this certainly sounds as if its roots are in the UK and the US as well as the Middle East, and I firmly expected the band to come from one of those two countries. They themselves describe their music as a "mix of world music, trance, progressive rock, blues, and Middle Eastern motifs. In addition to traditional European instruments, there is the Syrian oud lute, the Persian santur, and various Indian and Arabic percussion instruments." It is like nothing else I have ever heard from Poland, mixing and melding styles from many musical forms into something that is layered, polished, melodic and almost poppy on the first hearing, but with percussion and underlying musical motifs that transcend any particular genre or culture.

That this album is a masterpiece is never in doubt, that it is firmly one of my albums of the year is also something that isn't even up for debate. Each song brings a new delight, a new style, a new passion, and is one of those where the class and power shines through from the beginning to the very end. I knew it was special when I saw the packaging, I just didn't know how very special it was. This is essential.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars It's Christmas! And LION SHEPHERD sounds like it could have been one of the titles given to JESUS but it's not. Still he's called the GOOD SHEPHERD and the LION of the tribe of Judah so there's that. LION SHEPHERD are a band out of Poland although you would think they are from the Middle East. They use a variety of ethnic instruments giving us that vibe. It truly is an album that's a bit of a paradox for me though. The acoustic tracks and passages with the ethnic instruments are okay although I'm just not really into acoustic music. When they become electric and more powerful they do bring RIVERSIDE to mind and I'm really into this. The vocals sound so commercial sounding, I just don't like them except when he sings on some of the more powerful songs with reserved vocals bringing Duda to mind. So yeah a bit of a love hate with this one but overall I can't hit 4 stars, I'm just not that into it. Too much that I don't like.

"On The Road Again" features a strummed ethnic instrument that's acoustic as the vocals join in. Drums too in this catchy piece although it's not my thing. Electric guitar before 2 minutes as I hear a hint of SPOCK'S BEARD with the vocals and sound. A toe-tapper and I like the bass around 3 1/2 minutes. "Heat" again starts off with a stringed ethnic instrument with both drums and percussion. Not a fan of the vocals here. A brief electric guitar solo starts before 1 1/2 minutes.

"Code Of Life" features lots of beats with guitar as the vocals join in. Bass to the fore after a minute. It picks up big time before 2 minutes reminding me sadly of some Christian band I used to listen to. Too commercial. I do like the guitar starting before 3 1/2 minutes but it doesn't save the song for me. "When The Curtain Falls" is better than the first three songs but it's still not that great. Contrasts between the mellow and the more powerful sections continue throughout. The harmonies late remind me of Country music.

"Dream On" is where it starts getting good. When I first spun this album I actually stopped it after the second track and sampled the following tracks because I just wasn't into it and wondered if it was mostly acoustic the rest of the way. It wasn't. This is very exotic sounding with percussion and female vocal melodies as the male vocals join in. He sounds like Duda here, so much better. I like this a lot along with those female vocal melodies that really add to the sound here. It's priceless when the electric guitar-like ethnic instrument mimics the vocal melodies that are high pitched from traditional Middle Eastern music. Pretty cool. Love the female vocal melodies that end it too.

"Fall" has some depth to the sound which I like as my speakers vibrate. Sadly when the music kicks in with vocals after 35 seconds it quickly goes down hill because of the vocals. Catchy but too commercial sounding. Not a fan. "Storm Is Coming" opens with drums and acoustic guitar as male vocal melodies join in. Electric guitar too as it becomes more powerful before a minute. Reserved vocals and a calm follow quickly and this sounds better.

"Dazed By Glory" is a top three song for me. Guitar, percussion, bass and reserved vocals. I like this. It becomes heavier 1 1/2 minutes in. That ethnic instrument that is high pitched and guitar-like comes and goes. I'll skip to the last song "Swamp Song" then return to my favourite song on here. So "Swamp Song" has reserved vocals and a catchy acoustic guitar melody with percussion. A full sound follows before 2 minutes but it's still fairly mellow. Nice guitar solo after 4 1/2 minutes.

"Farewell" is by far my favourite song on here and I can only imagine a full album full of songs like this. When it begins it reminds me so much of RIVERSIDE and Duda that I feel a lot of emotion. Absolutely gorgeous. It settles back to a more restrained sound just before a minute. Love when it kicks back in hard at 2 minutes. Some emotion again 3 1/2 minutes in. Electric guitar before 5 minutes and check out the ending and tell me this doesn't sound like Duda.

A mixed bag for my tastes no doubt. Rave reviews can be found all over the Net though so take my thoughts with a grain of salt please. 3 stars.

Review by The Crow
1 stars After their estimable debut album Hiraeth, I had some hopes in Lion Shepherd.

But I could never imagine the follow up of this album would be a mediocre bunch of pop-rock songs which totally fail to return the good atmosphere and clever ideas of Hiraeth.

Heat opens with On the Road Again, which starts in a very folk way with saz and Arabic percussions, but soon turns into a very standard pop-rock tune totally uninteresting. And the same can be said of Heat, which is a little more rock oriented but equally predictable. What the hell is that, Lion Shepherd!

And Code of Life... More of the same! Maybe a little more melodic and a bit slower, but also more soporific. The chorus gains a little strength, but it does not get to save the song. And sadly, When The Curtain Falls is not better, being totally convoluted in structure and mediocre in composition despite the beautiful guitars in the verses.

Dream On introduces some acoustic guitars at the beginning and some female voices like When The Curtain Falls, but the only remarkable aspect of the song is the fine guitar solo. Fail is a rockier song which automatically brings Brave New World of the previous album to mind, but it totally lacks the same power.

Storm is Coming is also hard rock at the beginning, but after that we can hear another insipid pop song with some folk elements. Nevertheless, the chorus is ok. Not like Dazed by Glory, which is lame in its integrity except the guitar solo again.

Farewell starts again slowly, with a predictable crescendo which makes this track almost indistinguishable from the rest of the record, a fact which gives a good idea of the worrying lack of ideas that this band showed in Heat. The chorus and the instrumental part both have good guitars, but at this point of the album the boredom is complete and nothing is to be saved.

But surprisingly Lion Shepherd managed to close the album with the worst track of all. Swamp Song starts in an odd way with some obscure acoustic riffs but after a fine chorus the track turns incoherently in some sort of epic track which tries to close this album in an epic way... But totally failing in the attempt, making this crescendo totally strained and artificial. Just lame!

Conclusion: Lion Shepherd failed to improve the good job they did in Hiraeth, offering ten totally uninspired pop-rock songs with some folk elements on them. And the problem is not that they are not metal or progressive anymore. The true problem is that the quality of the compositions is less than average. Is just bad, predictable and sometimes even incoherent.

I would like to recommend this album to fans of the band. I saw them live in Madrid with Riverside some years ago and I really liked their show. But I think that even the fans of the first work of the band or their live performances should avoid this album, because is not very similar in style, and miles behind in terms of quality.

Poor work, guys. I really hope you make better on your next release!

Best songs: none of them really. They are all very similar in style and equally lame.

My rating: *

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