LIONHEART – The Grace of a Dragonfly (Album Review)


The UK’s premier AOR outfit Lionheart have made a triumphant return to the scene with their fabulous new offering, The Grace of a Dragonfly.

It’s been a long and winding road for the band since their formation in the early 80s, which included a 30-year hiatus from 1986. Since they reformed in 2016 they have produced an EP and now three full-length albums.

Whenever the name Lionheart gets mentioned, it is quickly followed by “oh yeah, Dennis Stratton’s band, he used to be in Iron Maiden y’know”.

Whilst factually correct (although Stratton formed the band with Steve Mann and Rocky Newton) this is doing a large disservice to the remainder of the line-up of Mann (guitar, keyboards), Newton (bass), Clive Edwards (drums) and Lee Small (vocals).

All are successful accomplished musicians in their own right either before joining the band or during the hiatus.

As for The Grace of a Butterfly it has all the hallmarks you’d expect from a top-class AOR band. The vocals are smooth yet powerful, the melodies constantly uplifting and the twin leads create inspiring riffs and solos.


Lionheart also decided to create a concept album, telling tales from World War II. They touch on many aspects of the conflict but in no way do they glorify war, in fact it could be argued that the album is anti-war. 

The opening track “Declaration” is self-explanatory but sets the tone for the album. Sweeping melodies, strong vocals with impactful keyboards and a great solo give you all you need.

“Flight 19” soon follows, about a US plane that goes missing in 1945 never to be seen again. 

Hot on its heels comes “V is For Victory”, a track about relief at the end of the war but also wondering if it was worth the loss of life.

The fact that the tracks on The Grace of a Butterfly are not in chronological order is quite disconcerting but it does not take away the absolute quality of each offering.

There are many excellent melodies and riffs on the album but none come finer than on “This is a Woman’s War”. It’ll have you singing and humming endlessly after listening.


“The Longest Night” covers the story of The Blitz, when German aircraft bombarded London incessantly. The songwriting, of which this is a prime example, throughout the album is top notch and the lyrics make it so easy to imagine the story they’re telling.

“The Eagle’s Nest” is an interesting one. Now a tourist attraction with a restaurant and beer garden, The Eagle’s Nest was originally a Nazi-constructed building atop the summit of Kehlstein used for government and social gatherings. Hitler visited a reported 14 times. The song bemoans the fact that such a beautiful place could be at the heart of such evil. 

More rifftastic action opens “Little Ships”, the story of the Dunkirk evacuation. Lee Small is totally on point on this one, strong and emotional.


Sentimentality takes over on “Just a Man” where an English farmer comes face to face with shot-down Luftwaffe pilot. It becomes apparent there are similarities between the men as they are both just flesh and blood.The pilot is then taken as a prisoner of war but they meet up many years later and embrace. Avitory for the human race. I told you it was sentimental didn’t I? The track also possesses one of the best solos on the album.

“UXB” a real toe-tapper, and also very atmospheric, as you’d expect with a track about unexploded bomb lying at the bottom of the River Thames.

The title track comes next as we hurtle towards the end of this cracking Lionheart album.

A tribute to the backbone of the RAF during the war, the Spitfire aeroplane. It’s a stirring finale to the album proper.

This is a superb album and ticks all the AOR boxes. I’ve not stopped listening since I first heard it a couple of weeks ago. The album is out on Metalville Records and I implore you to invest.


The final 66 seconds of The Grace of a Dragonfly are spent on “Remembrance, Praying for World Peace”. I’ll leave you with the full lyrics from this track and they cannot be endorsed strong enough.


Here we are

We’ve come so far

And yet we still learn nothing about who we are

World leaders dictate

Armed with guns and their bombs

And in the end they self-destruct

Falling one by one

And in these years to come I fear for everyone

Just look towards Ukraine

And pray that we can change 


Check out my other articles and reviews here. Sparky.


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