Review by Stefan: Back in 1985, US Power Metal heroes Chastain released its debut called “Mystery Of Illusion” (by the hands of Mike Varney and his legendary label Shrapnel Records) on a worldwide basis, and in full glory! Those days, I was already a few years devoted to US Metal…”MOI” is still one of my favourites efforts concerning this awesome style of music. Formed by shred guitar acrobatic David T. Chastain, behind the microphone was someone special with a very good and original voice named Leather Leone (ex-Rude Girl, Leather, Sledge/Leather Project). Up till now, Chastain can proudly look back to many years of success, they have a backpack filled with eleven recordings, including the band new album “We Bleed Metal”. After a silence within the camp of Chastain, David-Leather and Mike reunited to record album number 9 entitled “Surrender To No One”, a killer US Power Metal masterpiece able to excite me to the bone.
Two years later on now and they’re back with a sophomore album entitled “We Bleed Metal”, worldwide released on November 6th. In the US through Leviathan Records (David’T. Chastain’s own label), the European distribution is in hands of Pure Steel Records. They have opted for the same line-up as being the originals Leather Leone on vocals, David T. Chastain as masterful axe grinder and bassist Mike Skimmerhorn, also drummer Stian Kristoffersen (Pagan’s Mind/Firewind) lent his expertise to the band. Nothing but excellent, skilled to the teeth musicians who have once again lived up to create a gorgeous album.
Let me be honest and say that former cut “No One To Surrender’ truly got me by the throat because of the high musical level and great compositions on it. I think many other US Power Metal addicts being agree with me about that but with the release of their new album “We Bleed Metal”, Chastain has created a masterpiece in my opinion equivalent to their golden classics “Ruler Of The Wasteland”, “The 7th. Of Never”, “For Those Who Dare” among other. This is pure, straight from the heart US Power Metal as it should be… certainly one of the most sensational albums of the year.
During an interview with Leather Leone, she told me being not very pleased with her vocal delivery on “Surrender To No One” but as for myself, well I had no reason to complain at all about her singing duties. While listening to the new songs on “We Bleed Metal”, she sounds phenomenal good, better than before actually. This magnificent vocal performance can only be attributed to the hard work during the last few years, just like the other musicians did. Same story to tell according guitar king David T. Chastain who’s unique way of playing the guitar still keeps me amaze. He’s one of those axemen who really can’t do anything wrong in my own humble opinion but the way he handles his electric tool across the whole “We Bleed Metal” album surpasses all my preconceived expectations. One of my all time guitar heroes just delivered one of his best shred tactics ever !
The new Chastain effort has been filled with nine brand new songs started with the title track, a hard hitting mid-tempo Power Metal beast where each one of the musicians showcase it own high skilled talents. The first video single “All Hail The King” brings on some more speed by the superb, soaring vocals of LL and the scorching technical guitar shreds of David himself. ‘Against All The Gods’ starts quite and easy but it won’t take long before the membrane of my speakers start to vibrate for real. This song offers a deafening mixture of pure American styled Heavy and Power Metal able to beat you outta control in a jiffy. Mr. Chastain conjures an umpteenth riff from his guitar at the beginning of ‘Search Time For You’, a solid steel composition will hit your ears as the pace is kept rather low. ‘Don’t Trust Tomorrow” is my favourite for sure, fast riffing and soloing to the bone starring the overwhelming throat of Mrs. Leone. This is what US Power Metal is all about, great work of both drummer and bassist as well ! Waiting for a real anthem? You got it with ‘I Am A Warrior’ while ‘Last One Alive’ opens in an easy way to transform into a pure Power Metal assault moments later on… another fave or mine definitely. Last one entitled ‘Secrets’ has a runtime of nearly six minutes, the sense of rhythms is on the slow side but the overall composition is heavy, even a little unusual for me. Leather Leone opens once again all registers in a professional manner and about the guitar tactics I can only be very satisfied… original, technical or whatever is on your wish list, David T. Chastain will find a way to meet all your requirements in a professional way !
Chastain re-united in 2013, brought out the superb “Surrender To No One” and their brand new effort with the appropriate title “We Bleed Metal” is the ideal piece of evidence that the band is back for more. The line up seems stable and I am sure that this was not their last album. Awakened from a long sleep but now they’re back with a very notable achievement, a pleasant fact we, US Power Metal addicts are very pleased with. “We Bleed Metal” – a new album with an old-fashioned character for you to be purchased at: http://www.leviathanrecords.com/webleedmetal.htm and http://www.puresteel-shop.com/CHASTAIN-We-Bleed-Metal
My rating: 90/100 (Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)