It goes without saying, that as the founding member, bassist and principle song-writer of Iron Maiden, Steve Harris is a genuine giant of rock and metal music. It also goes without saying that in Maiden's 30+ years of recording, some of their albums have been better that others.
Most would consider The X-Factor (1995) and Virtual XI (1998) to be weak points in Maiden's history. Both these albums shared some common features. In addition to being Maiden's weakest albums in terms of chart success, there were also the only two albums were Harris was the lead producer and both these albums featured Blaze Bayley on vocals. Now, one should not benchmark this 'British Lion' album against Maiden's output as it is a different creative force for Harris, but it is interesting that the flaws of the Blaze album, seem to be apparent with this British Lion album.
Like, the Blaze era Maiden albums, the biggest issue is not the songs. Rather, it is a weak vocalist who struggles on much of the material and, just as bad, terrible production that lacks dynamics. It's a real shame, because amongst the 10 tracks on offer, there are some very respectable songs here that are fine examples of hard classic rock delivered with a modern edge. The closing track, 'The Lesson', also shows Harris pursuing a musical direction that will take many by surprise and wonder why he will not allow Maiden to be a bit more expansive on their own albums?
A great bassist, admirable band leader, fine song writer but, it would seem, Harris isn't cut out for 'production'.