Monday, October 12, 2015

Album Review- Chastain: We Bleed Metal

"We will sacrifice and we will pay 
the price cause WE BLEED METAL!"  

David T Chastain, a guitar shredder who took the metal scene by storm in the 80's, along with Leather Leone, one of the pioneers of the female fronted power metal band format is back with the band's second release in 2 years. Chastain's new album, We Bleed Metal is an all out assault on the senses, and the band makes no apology for doing what needs to be done, especially in this day and age, which is to punch you in the stomach with everything power metal brings to the table, which is blistering and heavy guitar licks and solos, colossal bass and drums, intricate musical scoring, and piercing and powerful vocals.

This is the sixth Chastain album with Leather Leone on vocals. The first four, and the 2013 released Surrender to No One, and of course this new metal masterpiece, We Bleed Metal. In fact, three of the four members are original members. David T Chastain on guitars, Leather Leone on vocals, Mike Skimmerhorn on bass, and new arrival, Stian Kristofferson on drums. And, they deliver in a big way. 

We Bleed Metal is not a return to classic form. Its of course, the musical genius that everyone expects from a guitar god, but its also modern, meaning that a tour with a band like Disturbed would be a good fit. Although the younger fans of the new band would walk away with an education on how metal is supposed to be. I think they'd dig it too!

Every song on this album is brutal. The drums sound like bombs going off, with thundering double bass. Specifically in track 7, Evolution of Terror. Play this song loudly in the Middle East, and ISIS terrorists would surrender immediately. They would think they were being carpet bombed by invisible bombs, and with Leather's voice on top of it, they would learn to fear women really fast. 

The guitar work, what can I say? It SHREDS. David T Chastain deserves to be (and is) in the same paragraph with greats such as Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, etc. His ability is on full display on every track. Whether blazing fast, slowly crunching, or acoustic, Chastain puts on a guitar clinic. For example, track 6, I Am A Warrior starts off with a classic 12 string acoustic intro, then slams into an audio blitzkrieg. Track 8, The Last Ones Alive does the same, although Leather sings over the acoustic intro, and she leads us into the song with a powerful note when the assault begins.

Speaking of Leather Leone's voice, its powerful, gritty, dirty, and high. She has an incredible voice. I mentioned earlier that she was one of the pioneers of female fronted power metal. It was people like she and Doro Pesch of Warlock who first proved that women could get up there and scream with the best of the men of the era. They paved the way for the many female fronted power metal and progressive bands that are popular today.

The lyrics on We Bleed Metal are dark, and relevant to the woes of today's society as it spirals down the toilet faster and faster as the weeks go by. Songs about the collapse of the financial system, religious fanatics, war, and all out apocalypse. The only thing different than what 80's bands wrote about and what these lyrics are about is that now, the tragic and terrifying things are actually happening. It gives you a chill when you think about it. If the Doomsday Clock was at 2 Minutes 2 Midnight in the mid 80's, we must be about 15 seconds to midnight with all the garbage happening in the world now. 

Stian Kristofferson, Leather Leone, Mike Skimmerhorn, David T Chastain

This album delivers on all fronts. It is a dictionary perfect representation of what a power metal album should be. Guitarists and all musicians will love this. The rhythm section of the bass and drums has the power of a battering ram, and the guitar is spectacular. The vocals are perfect, as Leather Leone still has all the power in her voice that she had in the 80's. She hasn't lost a single note from her range. In fact, she may have added a couple. David T Chastain has said that this may be his most "Shredtastic" album since the late 80's, and that is saying a lot. 

Wrapping up, the title track, We Bleed Metal is a heavy metal anthem that speaks about the brotherhood of metalheads. It speaks about society's stigma towards metal, and how we as metalheads struggle with it day to day. But, in the end, there are no fans of any other genre of music that are as deeply passionate about it as metal fans are. Its true. We all really do bleed metal. I've said it a million times that if Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, all the other classical music composers were alive today, they would be metal musicians. And, they would likely be good friends with David T Chastain.

The album releases on November 6, 2015. So, be watching out for it on Amazon, Google Play, or wherever you buy your music. 

Also, don't miss it. Leather Leone will be on the Will and Thunder Show as our guest on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 9PM Eastern. Click here for the listen link.

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