Leather Leone, remember her? She once was ruling the metal wasteland as one of the leading female voices of heavy metal. The voice of Chastain who added fuel to the metallic fire of David T.'s amazing shreds and killer riffs, also recording an acclaimed solo record "Shockwaves," before vanishing from the playground.
Well, Leather is back! Together with her drum buddy Sandy Sledge, she prepared for a return that will put them back on the top ranks of Heavy Metal.
"Imagine Me Alive" leaves no room for discussion. It warps us into our seats for a revival of power metal in the hey days. Machine gun double bass pounding from Sledge, and the roaring powerful voice of Leone stand fiercely proud in this sonic attack on the neck. It's a captivating song which clings to ya right away. Matthias Weisheit lays down some amazing riffs and solo's reminiscent to Chastain's best work, while the band furthermore consists of some jaw dropping names such as former Dio backing musicians Jimmy Bain (bass) and Scott Warren (keyboards, orchestration).
And it is all classic what we hear. "Torch" is an intermezzo (in German) introducing us to the moving metal story "The Guy Upstairs Lied." Same does the instrumental "Illusions Opus I" for the powerful character tune "Her Father's Daughter" and "Her Father's Daughter Reprise," a trilogy which hints greatness all over. I'm taken by the powerful mid-tempo roar and withheld anger showcased by the band.
The piano ballad "A Taste of Night" needs to grow on you, but also shows the wideness of Leather's reach, who simply doesn't show any wear at all. "Fast Forgiveness" again has Sledge hammering us powerful into "The Last Forgiveness," which is an epic metal track with heavy orchestration towards the end, leading to the eclectic reprise "Sisyphus." Keyboards and orchestration are mixed a bit too much into the front, something downgrading "Her Father's Daughter" slightly as well.
"Imagine me Alive" is packed with classic heavy metal, powerful vocals from Leather, powerful drumming from Sledge, and top marksmanship from Bain, Warren and Weisheit. All composed and produced in the fine spirit of classic heavy and power metal, shooting this album to the top ranks of the genre.
Review by Edwin von Hoof ©2012.