Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Leather (review by MMB)

High Roller Records
March 13, 2018

The name of the cult singer Leather Leone has been linked to her work with the band Chastain. A veteran of the profession, Leather is beloved for a set of powerful lungs. You know it’s Leather singing when you hear the voice. The young Leather made a mark in the world of cult 1980s heavy metal, but time keeps rolling along and the mature Leather continues the work with Chastain today. However, this is not a Chastain album! Years ago there was a Leather solo album, and now decades later we get Leather II, in a different time, with different musicians; it’s a second chapter; it’s a different chapter, not a follow-up to the old album.

One thing to note is that the band decided to keep their foot on the gas pedal for the vast majority of the time on this new work. The first song is called “Juggernaut” and the album hits the ground running. There’s a certain sense of urgency and hunger in the music. They stay on point for the entire album, one that rocks from start to finish. In point of fact, as far as I can tell, there is only one true power ballad and it is called “Annabelle.” Anyway, this album delivers the energy that you want in a traditional heavy metal album. Kudos to the band for the decision to keep it metal, and keep up the tempo.

The guitar work goes straight for the riffs that have proven true in the history of metal. The riffs are steeped in tradition and they pull no punches. Every fan of the style can say that they’re going to get exactly what they were promised, as good as advertised. In addition, the drumming is no slouch, either. The pounding heart of the album is found right there. Of course, the singing is the sound of a performer with an established tone and personality. The young singer who gained the loyalty of the fans all those years ago continues as a mature performer with a lifetime of experience behind the words sung and her fans will be glad to hear the wailing of the voice of the cult.

Keep in mind that this is not a melodic album. Don’t expect sugary songs, poppy and catchy beats. Expect hard-hitting songs, and an album that is hard, and even confrontational at times. Leather’s voice shows some moments of anger and intensity that perhaps may be new to some fans. Essentially, the band found one mode of operation and it is “on” and they stay on it, for the cult. Fans of direct, no nonsense, old-school heavy metal are the intended audience.

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