Formed in 2003, Pride of Lions is a melodic rock band that combines the musical talents and songwriting of ex-Survivor legend Jim Peterik and vocalist Toby Hitchcock. Their sound blends old style melodic rock with the bombast of musical theatre – a musical mix that’s surely won them as many detractors as genuine fans. Peterik’s gift for a huge chorus has remained obvious, but in Hitchcock, he’s found a musical partner who is often so overbearing that his voice tends to smother any real melodicism Peterik’s songs might have had. This made their first five albums very hard on the ears. It’s not that Hitchcock isn’t talented in his own way – his ‘Reckoning’ solo album from 2019 is actually very good for what it is – it’s just that working with Peterik always tended to bring out his worst vocal excesses. [Peterik’s bloated musical theatre sound, meanwhile, was much better suited to superior singer Dennis De Young…and even that produced mixed results.]
On August 31st 2014 AOR vocalist Jimi Jamison died following a heart attack. He was 63 years old.
Best known as vocalist for Survivor, Jamison possessed one of the finest voices within the melodic rock scene. His range, although similar to previous Survivor vocalist Dave Bickler (singer of the band’s biggest hit ‘Eye of the Tiger’) was superior; his soaring tones second only to Journey’s Steve Perry for a pure AOR sound. Jamison recorded vocals for the band’s second biggest hit ‘Burning Heart’ (from Rocky IV) and for three Survivor albums in the 1980s: ‘Vital Signs’, ‘When Seconds Count’ and the harder sounding ‘Too Hot To Sleep’ – each one vital for any respectable melodic rock album collection. A further Survivor album, ‘Reach’, was released eight years later to critical praise but lesser commercial success.