Cherry Red 2016
Still riding high: triumphant charge of the light brigade ready to burn their ships in spectacular way.
On the way to Valhalla, these veterans aren’t inclined to enter the realm of legend without giving fans a glimpse of heaven. Having proved their grip on heavy prog on 2015’s "Awakening" which added four new songs to the classic lore, the band mapped out a string of concert dates, and here’s the document of the first of those: LF’s first live album with John Lawton at the front. As if to make a point of the vocalist’s special position – his voice may sound lower now yet that deepens the emotional impact of it all, with wuthering heights scaled in “Burning Ships” – there’s no pieces off “I’m Just a Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer” whereas fresh material is given the pride of place among the time-tested tracks.
From the throbbing bombast of “Pray” on to the cosmic romp of “Ride The Sky” and beyond, the tension is relentless, and it takes the road warrior anthems “Moonshine Rider” and “Hey Driver” to allow the audience blow off steam and get their rocks off. Peter Hesslein’s acoustic intro to the epic “Riding High” and Dieter Horns’ bass sway on the soulful “Did You Ever?” enriching the texture of performance and stoking the build-up to infectious choruses whose harmonies get passed to the crowd, the ensemble also whip up rarer treats such as “In The Time Of Job” and “Fire And Rain” with its piano-propelled bounce to fan the flame anew here.
That’s quite the way to say goodbye – literally so in the closing “High Flying Lady” – and set one’s sight for celestial grounds while still on a roll.