UK based group Lionheart reunited a couple of years ago with original members Steve Mann (guitar/keyboards), Dennis Stratton (guitar) and Rocky Newton (bass). These three guys have been members of MSG (Mann and Newton) while Stratton was of course part of the early Iron Maiden line-up. The guys added singer Lee Small (Phenomena) and drummer Clive Edwards (Wild Horses/UFO) to the group and started doing some gigs. From there on the idea came up to take this further and finally produce a follow up to the 1984 album ‘Hot Tonight’ (the 1999 release ‘Unearthed – Raiders Of The Lost Archives’ was a compilation of old demo tapes). So 33 years after ‘Hot Tonight’ there is a new Lionheart CD at last. Obviously the involved musicians have gathered shitloads of experience through the years and all of that was put into the thirteen songs that have been assembled on ‘Second Nature’. First of all, the cover of the CD is fantastic to look at, as is the rest of the artwork. What about the music? In one word: excellent! Recorded at the Flying Vivaldi studio in Hannover Germany (I believe Steve Mann owns that studio) Lionheart roars like never before. The recipe is pure melodic rock with a big sound, big choirs, sparkling guitar battles and Lee Small singing his heart out. At moments I have to think about acts like MSG and Iron Maiden when I hear some of the solos and the melody in them. I find it hard to pinpoint really outstanding songs as the level of all of them is very high indeed. The instrumental ,,On Our Way’’ is one of the main attractions but so are ,,30 Years’’, ,,Prisoner’’, ,,Time Is Watching’’ (great choirs) and even a beefed up version of the Chris De Burgh hit ,,Don’t Pay The Ferryman’’ is pleasant to hear. Steve Mann is also involved with the upcoming Michael Schenker Fest album and tour and Der Michael should have a good listen to ‘Second Nature’ as he has not produced an album of this quality for a while now. A must for melodic rockers!