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CHASTAIN
CHASTAIN
Surrender To No One
(Leviathan Records)
54:04min

First part of the review - written by a longtime die hard hard CHASTAIN fan: Holy shit! They are back! Reunion of David T. Chastain and Leather Leone was kind of a wet dream of many die hard True Metal fans around the world for many, many years. Let's face it: Kate French with whom David did the last few albums is a brilliant singer, but it's a bit like the Halford / Owens situation in JUDAS PRIEST, or the Dickinson / Bayley situation in MAIDEN. You know, people respect the "other" singer, but in 99% they want to see and hear just this one person, and in case of CHASTAIN it was Leather. The fact she disappeared for around 20 years added to the whole situation this mystic aura, and probably helped to estabilish the legendary and cult status of both Leather Leone as a singer, and CHASTAIN as a band. And let's be honest: Leather's voice IS legendary, it's hard to list other female singers with such a powerful vocal chords. So from a fan's perspective, this is awesome, great and a "classic" next CHASTAIN album. Musically it's closer to the last few records of the band (modern, very progressive riffs, crazy rhythm patterns, lot of tempo changes), but as we have Mrs. Leone behind the microphone here, we can consider it as the continuation of the classic albums of this band. And now, the second part of the review, written by someone who can actually hear the music, not only listen to it. The first thing you will notice, is that probably most of the music (if not all of it) was written by a guitarist. Why? Because we have here a bunch of really cool riffs, great guitar sound, and amazing solos. Solos, which are actually more interesting than vocal lines. It doesn't happen very often, that after listening to an album you actually remember riffs and solos, and you can't repeat any vocal lines. We have 11 songs on the album, but you can mix all vocal lines between them, and you won't find out which one is taken from which song, as they are so similar, and all of them based on a few similar notes. It's pity, as Leather Leone shines like a star, she is like Midas, everything she touches (or sings, in this case) turns into gold, and it's a real pleasure to listen to her amazing voice, but in this case we can clearly hear that no one paid attention what will happen with the vocal lines. Drums, rhythm section and guitars are arranged perfectly, and the album sounds really good and powerful. But there is a huge hole on this album: a lack of good melodies. Yeah, sure, CHASTAIN has never been a melodic Metal band, but if you hope to find here such hymns like 'Voice Of The Cult', 'Angel Of Mercy' or 'Ruler Of The Wasteland', then you might be dissapointed. To sum it up: it's a good album, because what CHASTAIN fans are usually looking for, are the great solos / riffs, and the great voice of Leather Leone, and we have both these elements here. And these elements alone are reason good enough to buy and enjoy this album. More information: www.chastainmetal.com, www.leviathanrecords.com

Bart Gabriel

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