Otherwise, ‘Sleeping Lions’ – Album Review
Las Vegas rockers Otherwise burst upon the scene with 2012's True Love Never Dies, which spawned radio hits like “Soldiers.” 2014's Peace at all Costs continued their momentum with memorable and successful songs such as “Darker Side of the Moon.” After that album they had some lineup changes, with Adrian (vocals) and Ryan (guitar) Patrick remaining. For Sleeping Lions, they have pared down from quintet to a quartet.
Their newest members are bassist Tony “The Beast” Carboney and drummer Brian Medeiros. In an interview with Loudwire, Adrian Patrick praised them, stating, "The biggest contribution besides the amazing talent, artistry and creativity they bring — it’s just that they just have really good attitudes. They are just, at their cores, they are good dudes, you know. They don’t have huge egos, they’re not a–holes. [laughs]"
The album begins on an aggressive note with “Angry Heart,” which is also the disc's first single. Dark, heavy riffs and a sing-song vocal delivery give way to a soaring chorus. That's followed by the title track, which Otherwise co-wrote with Korn's Jonathan Davis. You can hear Davis' influence on Patrick's vocal delivery. It also has both aggressive and melodic sections and is very anthemic. It's another potential single on an album filled with them.
“Suffer” is instantly memorable with a chorus that burrows in deep and won't let go, while “Weapons” offers a socially conscious track about guns that they co-wrote with Sevendust's Clint Lowery.
Otherwise have created a very balanced record that includes heavier cuts, singalong arena rockers and mellower tracks like “Crocodile Tears.” Patrick is a versatile vocalist who sings with a lot of emotion and has his own style, but also channels everyone from the aforementioned Davis to Michael Hutchence (INXS) on the lower register sections of “Close to the Gods.”
The last part of the album is the mellowest, but there's no decline in song quality. The penultimate power ballad “Blame” is followed by the closing track “Bloodline Lullaby,” an ode to family with an earnest charm and yet another memorable chorus.
Sleeping Lions is Otherwise's deepest and most consistent album yet. They've refined and sharpened their songwriting, smoothly adjusting to a new lineup and delivering another batch of songs you'll be hearing often on rock radio.