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AFFLICTION GATE - review
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LEATHER
LEATHER
II
(High Roller Records)
47:31min

Leather Leone is up there as one of the best Metal vocalists. Her vocals on the CHASTAIN and first LEATHER albums are memorable and made an impression on me at a young age due to their power and drama. I always imagined her as a biker barbarian with a no-nonsense attitude, the fury of her vocal delivery capable of stripping paint from walls. Leather has been back with CHASTAIN since 2013, and they put out "We Bleed Metal" a few years ago. Whereas SATAN released their comeback on par with their renowned classics, the last CHASTAIN was lacklustre and went in a direction I wasn’t fond of. The new LEATHER album is a welcome surprise however, as it’s really good! She’s teamed up with a crew of virtuosos from Brazil for the follow up to "Shock Waves". The band isn’t comprised of anyone that I recognise, but that doesn’t matter considering that they can write and play some catchy, classic Heavy Metal with no bullshit. There’s no jarring stylistic changes, the music is still firmly rooted in classic sound, but also takes account that it’s no longer 1989. If you want a point of reference to her last record, it balances the bombastic neo classical Shrapnel Records mood with some greasy, grounded headbangers. Considering there’s almost 30 years between the albums, age hasn’t softened Leather at all. Her voice is still gravelly and aggressive, and if anything, it sounds a little more sinister now that she’s singing in a lower range. I do miss the double-tracking of her vocals though! If the last CHASTAIN disappointed you, or if you’re a fan of LEATHER, this should make you smile. Recommended for those who dare. More info at: www.facebook.com/leatherleoneband, www.hrrecords.de

Stan Stamatopoulos

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