Leverage - Blind fire 4/5

Reviewed: 2-8-08





Tracklist:

1. Shadow in the rain
2. King of the night
3. Stormchild
4. Sentenced
5. Hellhorn
6. Mr. Universe
7. Don't touch the sun
8. Run down
9. Heart of darkness
10. Learn to live


Leverage is a relatively new melodic power metal band hailing from Finland. With already one full-length CD under their belt (‘Tides’), Leverage have now released their 2nd CD, called ‘Blind fire’. Still quite unknown in the metal world, Leverage will definitely make waves this year with their new CD, as it is a great leap forward from their debut release.

With influences ranging from Thunderstone, At Vance, Sonata Arctica, Edguy and Last Tribe, Leverage have really broken through with a marvellous new CD. I enjoy melodic metal quite a lot and this new release sounds quite fresh and very enjoyable. On Frontiers Records, the sound and production on ‘Blind fire’ is fantastic. With a sprinkle of progressive metal thrown into their mix of classic melodic metal guitar riffing, deep bass, appropriate keyboarding and great songwriting, I cannot praise this band any higher.

Bringing a breath of fresh air into the melodic metal world, is vocalist Pekka Heino. His vocals are brilliant on this CD. He has such a marvelous voice, very strong and emotional; just like a melodic metal vocalist should be and more. Heino has a great range and does not sing the same way on every track. If this guy wasn’t the band’s singer, this CD just wouldn’t be as good as it is.

Again, sticking relatively close to their sound structure of ‘Tides’, the songs on ‘Blind fire’ are around the mid-paced level, some a little slower and some a little faster, with 1-2 ballad-type tracks. With all the tracks really grabbing you with its freshness, they are all entertaining and emotional, with catchy choruses. None of the songs get that ‘heavy’ in its mid-paced way, melodic metal is not meant to be heavier than it should be; the band themselves proclaiming that they play ‘heavy rock’.

With some of the best songwriting I’ve heard from a melodic metal band in some time, every song is a winner. Tracks to look forward to once you get your hands on this CD are “Sentenced” and “Heart of darkness”. An emotional track, “Sentenced” starts out with a pounding riff, followed by a slow verse with a piano in the background supporting Heino’s inspiring vocals. The chorus lifts the tempo and is very catchy. “Heart of darkness” is driven by Heino’s vocals, the song itself is uplifting and again catchy as hell. A mid-paced emotional rocker all the way through, with a nice solo in the middle. Other tracks that all will enjoy include the CD opener “Shadow in the rain”, the quick-paced “Stormchild”, the eerie and melodic “Mr. Universe”, “Run down” and the wonderful emotional ballad “Don’t touch the sun”.

Overall I am very impressed with Leverage’s effort in ‘Blind fire’. Not knowing much about them before reviewing this CD, I am very thankful for getting a chance to hear this great band. Leverage will make great strides in 2008 once this CD makes the rounds in Europe and the United States. There is something on this CD that every metal fan will appreciate, whether they are a melodic metal fan, a power metal fan, a progressive metal fan or just a novice heavy metal fan.

Excellent CD that is highly recommended. Great stuff!



SEAN




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